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April
Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery opens tomorrow
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The Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre at Hang Tau Tsuen, Ping Shan, Yuen Long, New Territories, will open to the public from tomorrow (April 15).

The opening ceremony was held today (April 14). Officiating guests included Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping, head of the Tang Clan in Ping Shan, Mr Tang Kau, managers of the Tang Clan in Ping Shan, Mr Tang Kung-leung and Mr Tang Lai-mun, representative of Tang Clan in Ping Shan, Mr William Tang, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Mr Edward Ho Sing-tin, Chairman of the Yuen Long District Council, Dr Tang Siu-tong, Chairman of the Ping Shan Rural Committee, Mr Tang Yun-chor, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, Director of Architectural Services, Mr Yue Chi-hang, and District Officer (Yuen Long), Mr James Chan.

Ping Shan in Yuen Long district is one of Hong Kong's most historically significant regions. The Tang Clan, one of the major clans in the New Territories, settled in Ping Shan as early as the 12th century. They built walled villages, villages and other traditional Chinese buildings such as ancestral halls and study halls for ancestral worship and education. Establishment of the centre allows the public and overseas visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and customs of Ping Shan and the Tang Clan.

The centre comprises three galleries: "The Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery" which displays relics belonging to the members of the Tang Clan, who personally relate their history, customs and cultural life. The valuable exhibits on display include an embroidered silk birthday hanging dated 11th year of the Tongzhi reign of the Qing dynasty (1872), a baby seat with a history of around 170 years, a phoenix coronet worn by a bride in the 1950s, a bridal sedan chair used in traditional marriage, the ritual wares and a group photo of founders of Tat Tak School in 1931.

"The Gallery of Ping Shan Heritage Trail" introduces monuments and buildings along the trail including ancestral halls, temples, study halls, pagoda and Shrine of the Earth God, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about traditional life in the New Territories. "The Community Heritage Gallery" presents periodically special thematic exhibitions on the history and culture of the New Territories organised by schools and community groups.

The centre was converted from the Old Ping Shan Police Station built in 1899, one of the few remaining pre-war police stations in the New Territories. It consists of three buildings. The main building is a two-storey structure with an embracing arched verandah. It is a white walled building with observation posts at roof level. On the north side, a two-storey structure connected to the main buildings forms the Annex Block. This annex building also has white walls, open verandahs and a pitched Chinese tile roof. Two chimney stacks are prominent on this building. There is also a small single-storey detached building with a pitched roof and overhanging eaves. The original chimneys also remain in the building.

As early as 1996, Tang Clan proposed to convert the old police station into a gallery for displaying artefacts on local folk culture and history. It was agreed between the Government and the Tang Clan in 1997 that the building would be converted into the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery and a visitor centre for the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. In 2002, the premises were formally allocated to the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) for planning of the centre with the Tang Clan. The renovation of the centre was undertaken by the Architectural Services Department.

The centre will open from 10am to 5pm daily. It will be closed on Mondays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. Admission is free.

For more details about the centre, please visit AMO's website at http://www.amo.gov.hk or call 2617 1959.

Ends/Saturday, April 14, 2007
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