Exhibition: Photos of old Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Exhibition: Photos of old Hong Kong

We're spoilt for choice at the moment, with four different exhibitions underway. (If you're reading this from outside Hong Kong, I've added some other ways to see these photos at the bottom of the page.)

This is the last message for 2013, so before we look at those exhibitions, let me wish you a very happy and healthy new year.

Regards, David

1. John Thomson's photos at the Maritime Museum

They have over eighty of Thomson's photos of Hong Kong and China on display, all taken within a year or two of 1870. The photos have been blown up so there is lots of detail to see. Here's a view of the Praya, with the hills looking very barren and imposing in the background:

The Praya

Entrance to the exhibition is included in the price of the ticket to the museum, so allow enough time to visit both.

The exhibition runs until 16th February, click here for details.

2. Early Photographs of Hong Kong, c. 1862 - 1900, at Wattis Fine Art

Up the hill on Hollywood Road, the walls at Wattis Fine Art are currently covered with an interesting selection of photographs. This photo shows the Happy Valley Stadium decked out to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897:

Grandstand Happy Valley, Hong Kong, Jubilee 1897

They're different from the Thomson photos, as they're old originals rather than recent re-prints. That means the individual photos are smaller, but there's a bigger selection, and each one has a good write-up explaining what's in the photo. Well worth a visit to see, and they're all for sale if any catch your eye.

The exhibition runs until 28th January, click here for details.

3. Changing Causeway Bay at Lee Gardens

Hats off to Hysan, who have an exhibition that shows the history of the Causeway Bay area. Lots of photos to see, and plenty of written information to absorb.

It's on show in the lobbies of the Lee Gardens office building, from the ground floor up to the 3/F. The only mention I can find of it online is this press release. It doesn't give an end date for the exhibition, so better see it while you can.

4. Photos of Old Hong Kong at the Museum of History

I haven't seen this one yet, but plan to see it soon. It includes photos from the museum's own extensive collection, and others from a new collection of 10,000 Hong Kong & China photos they've received on loan.

I'm curious to see what this means too:

"... 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."

The exhibition runs until 21st April, click here for details.

If you're not in Hong Kong ...

And for a bonus, take a look at http://web.stagram.com/n/furkidsinhk/. Great (modern) photos of Hong Kong, each with some snippets of history and local knowledge about whatever it is we're shown.


I went along to see this over the weekend. The Museum of History have done a great job, with lovely big enlargements of the old photographs to show lots of detail. Plenty of information in the write-ups too. They've even re-printed some old stereo photos, and have a couple of stereo viewers available so you can see them in 3-D. And if all that's not enough, the show catalogue weighs in at over 400 pages for just HK$250.

Well worth a visit,

Regards, David