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Banksy, Laugh Now, 2002
Banksy | Courtesy to Phillips

10 amazing Banksy works you can see in Hong Kong this month

See the legendary street artist’s prints and canvases up close

Written by
Olivia Lai
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Renowned for his satirical artwork, Banksy is the world’s most famous street artist and he remains anonymous – whatever the rumours – despite nearly two decades of activity. Now until December 7, for the first time in Hong Kong, there’s a selling exhibition dedicated entirely to the enigmatic activist-artist. Titled Who’s Laughing Now, 27 works are on display at auction house Phillips, including iconic pieces and previously unseen artwork. Here’s a taste of what you can expect at this rare showing.

Note: Visitors are free to walk in and see the works on 
Mondays to Fridays, but weekend viewings are by appointment only.

RECOMMENDED: Don’t miss these stunning photos of old Hong Kong or these minimalist images of our city.

10 amazing Banksy works you can see in Hong Kong this month

Girl with Balloon, 2004

Probably the most recognisable image created by Banksy, Girl With Ballon recently made the headlines when a framed copy was shredded immediately after being sold at auction.

Love is in the Air, 2003



Much like Girl With Ballon, Love is in the Air, aka Flower Thrower, is one of Banksy’s most iconic pieces and has been reproduced in various prints and canvases. It originally appeared in 2003 as a large format stencilled graffiti in Jerusalem.

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Avon and Somerset Constabulary (Pink), 2009



When Banksy started out in Bristol, the city’s local police force, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, had a particularly draconian policy towards graffiti. Here, Banksy turns the tables, making the police into what they hate.

Love Rat, 2004



Love Rat first appeared as a piece on the streets of Liverpool before being made into a print in 2004. Initially, it might seem as though the work’s message is one of positivity, but Banksy has jokingly said on his website that it was ‘ideal for a cheating spouse’.

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Gas Mask Boy, 2009



Gas masks, like rats, are another popular motif in Banksy’s works. Whether that’s because they symbolise a strain of totalitarianism (seen in their use in both world wars and against various protest marches) or it’s more to do with being a self-portrait (graffiti artists often need to use respirators during their work) is unconfirmed.

Bacchus at the Seaside, 2009



A sardonic take on Guido Reni’s 1621 painting Bacchus and Ariadne, this work was part of a series of vandalised paintings Banksy created for his 2009 takeover of the Bristol Museum. Indebted to bawdy British seaside humour and ‘head in the hole‘ photo ops, Banky demolishes elitest pretentions about classical art with his personal touches.

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Monkey Poison, 2004



Monkeys are another familiar motif for Banksy. This print is being offered for bids in excess of $10 million.

Double Smiley Copper, 2002



A precursor to Banksy’s Flying Copper, paintings of which were visible in the artist’s first major exhibition in London in 2003, juxtaposes the smiley faces with the policemen’s riot gear. Another of Banksy’s typical and striking satirical critiques.

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Because I'm Worthless, 2004



Banksy said of rats, “If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.” With rats as a symbol of the everyman in society, this work takes aim at a society that considers vast swathes of people as worthless vermin.

Banksy, Laugh Now, 2002

The title of this selling-exhibition in Hong Kong is inspired by this particular piece, which according to auction house Phillips is listed at $32 million.

Don’t miss other amazing art exhibitions happening this week

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