Images Through Time: Photos of Old Hong Kong
18 December 2013 – 21 April 2014
Special Exhibition Gallery
Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Hong Kong Museum of History
Photography has become the most direct medium for people across the world to understand China since its introduction of photography to the country in the mid-nineteenth century. Owing to the special political circumstances, Hong Kong then became a natural stopover for foreign photographers on their way to the Mainland. These photographers took many pictures on the early development of Hong Kong, while some of them even established studios in Hong Kong specializing in taking portraits and selling scenery pictures of South China. These pictures are all invaluable research materials for studying the history of modern China and the history of photography in China.
The Hong Kong Museum of History has established a sizable collection comprising a great variety of historical artefacts. Among them, the old photo collection with 14,000 prints and other related items is the most significant hoard of the museum. The exhibitions on old photos staged over the past decades were all very well received.
In mid-2012, Moonchu Foundation agreed to loan about 10,000 old photos of China (including those taken in Hong Kong) recently purchased in the United Kingdom together with batches of valuable old China photos acquired through auctions to the Hong Kong Museum of History for exhibition and research purposes. The collection of Monnchu Foundation captures precious historical scenes, covering streets and everyday life, leisure and commercial activities of the city, vividly illustrating the social development of Hong Kong from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. With this offer, we embarked on the organisation of a mega photo exhibition. In collaboration with the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEI), the exhibition will employ advanced technology and creative skills for producing a series of multimedia programmes, in which the scenes of old Hong Kong will be reconstructed through utilizing the old photos offered by Moonchu Foundation and the museum's old photo collection. It will surely give visitors an extraordinary experience of travelling back in time and visiting some scenic spots in old Hong Kong.