Portraits in Stanley Internment Camp
AJ Savitsky was an artist interned in the Stanley Prison Camp during World War II, when the Japanese occupied Hong Kong. He was a Russian who had migrated to Hong Kong in the early 1930s and became a member of the Hong Kong Police Reserve in 1936. He was interned with other civilians, including police officers.
Apparently Savitsky did some 200 portraits whilst in the Camp and should be recognized for these extraordinary works. Yes – extraordinary when one considers his dedication in producing these portraits despite the considerable lack of materials, and secondly, for rendering such a unique and accomplished record of so many of the internees.
Below are two drawings done by AJ Savitsky of Ron (Roland) Brooks who was an officer in the Hong Kong Fire Brigade, prior to the Japanese invasion. The first portrait, on brown wrapping paper, depicts Ron in his Fire Brigade uniform (dated 30 March 1942):
The second is a portrait in civilian clothes (dated 27 April 1942).: