Museum of History exhibition focuses on lease of New Territories and Weihaiwei
An exhibition entitled "The Aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War: The Lease of the New Territories and Weihaiwei" will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of History from tomorrow (April 9) until June 9, displaying more than 100 artefacts related to Sir James Stewart Lockhart, a former Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong.
The exhibition focuses on the lease of Hong Kong's New Territories and Weihaiwei in Shandong after the First Sino-Japanese War, and showcases the changes in both places during the early 20th century.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition today (April 8), the Deputy Director (Culture) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Cynthia Liu, said that the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence are organising a series of exhibitions to mark the 120th anniversary of the outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese War. This exhibition is the first of the series and explores one of the many far-reaching consequences of the war: the lease to Britain of the New Territories and Weihaiwei. It also explains how the British government developed its administrative system in Weihaiwei by drawing on governing experience in the New Territories.
Lockhart served in the Hong Kong government from 1882 for 20 years and in Weihaiwei as Commissioner from 1902 for 19 years. Ms Liu said that during his stay in Weihaiwei, Lockhart transplanted the colonial system of governance applied in Hong Kong to the city in northern China. The Lockhart collection held by the National Library of Scotland is a treasure trove of invaluable historical information for research into Hong Kong and modern China's history from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
The exhibition features exhibits including notes taken by Lockhart in learning Chinese in Guangzhou, a thank-you letter from Kang Yu-wei to Lockhart during Kang's refuge in Hong Kong, the public notices on the British takeover of the New Territories, ukiyo-e prints from the First Sino-Japanese War and the complimentary tablet presented by Lockhart to the Tung Wah Hospital in Hong Kong, as well as letters between Lockhart and local Chinese prominent figures from the political and business circles.
This correspondence reveals how Weihaiwei transformed itself through Lockhart's connections that he had nurtured earlier in Hong Kong. These records will not only give visitors a picture of the interaction and exchanges between the two places during those years, but also show how Hong Kong epitomised British colonial rule in the Far East.
Other officiating guests at the ceremony included the Deputy National Librarian of the National Library of Scotland, Dr Darryl Mead, and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).
Admission to the exhibition is free. For details of the exhibition, please visit the website at http://hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/exhibition/current.html, or call 2724 9042.
Ends/Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:40
The opening ceremony of the exhibition "The Aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War: The Lease of the New Territories and Weihaiwei" was held today (April 8) at the Hong Kong Museum of History. Picture shows the officiating guests (from left): the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu; the Deputy Director (Culture) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Cynthia Liu; and the Deputy National Librarian of the National Library of Scotland, Dr Darryl Mead.
Officiating guests visit the exhibition.
Picture shows a cartoon, "The Situation in the Far East", drawn by Tse Tsan-tai, a revolutionary in Hong Kong, in 1899, vividly illustrating the separate spheres of influence of the major powers in China.
Picture shows a map sent by Hong Kong Colonial Secretary Sir Wilfrid Thomas Southorn to former Colonial Secretary Sir James Stewart Lockhart in 1929, on which Lockhart Road, highlighted in pink, is named after Lockhart.
Picture shows a complimentary tablet with the words "Ke yi liao ji" (Curing people of hunger) presented by Lockhart to the Tung Wah Hospital in Hong Kong in 1920, thanking the latter for the relief support for famine victims in Weihaiwei.
Picture shows a ukiyo-e print about the fall of Weihaiwei during the First Sino-Japanese War.