The Flavours of Everyday Life in China - Memories from the Past Half Century
6 July - 26 September 2011
Special Exhibition Gallery
Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Chaoyang District Culture Center, Beijing
Organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History
Showcasing over 200 images and some 290 sets of everyday objects used by people of China between the 1950s and 1990s, the exhibition introduced aspects of daily life of the Chinese during that period. It also illustrated the material changes people have undergone in their lives since economic reform and the opening up policy were implemented in China in the late 1970s.
The exhibits, most of them were provided by the Chaoyang District Culture Center, Beijing, included ration coupons and ration books in use between the 1960s and 1990s, including coupons for food, rice, flour, fabric and industrial goods rations. There were also children's toys like lamb guai bones, tops and iron toys, all sorts of utensils and objects printed with the portrait of Mao Zedong and lines from the Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, false collars that were intended to save fabric when supply was scarce, the "three important objects" required for weddings in the 1970s, and popular electrical appliances that became available when economic reform and the opening up policy were first implemented. The exhibition provided visitors with a new perspective to help understand the changes in people's everyday life in mainland China over the past half century. At the same time, the exhibition illustrated that even common everyday objects could tell stories and encapsulated a part of history.