Eye on Hong Kong
To mark our 10th anniversary, the Hong Kong Heritage Project is proud to present a collection of previously unpublished photographs depicting Hong Kong life in the 1950s taken by Lord Lawrence Kadoorie. The photographs capture daily lives, changing landscapes and rapid social and economic development. Taken together they offer a remarkable view of the tremendous efforts made by our citizens in rebuilding Hong Kong after the Second World War, reshaping its economy and bettering their lives.
August 2017
Our 10th Anniversary!
The Hong Kong Heritage Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017. Initiated first to gather the history of China Light and Power Company, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, this project has grown into something Hong Kong people would be proud of. It preserves not only the way of life in the past, but also the present day life. And we have drawn on some 500 personalities from all walks of life to give their histories, their personal experiences, and these are now available for future generations who will be interested in Hong Kong. We must thank the government for embracing the project, and the many other individuals who have given of their time to let us know of their experiences and generously sharing their many stories which are of interest to all of us. The many narratives encapsulate Hong Kong’s dynamism, its ability as a can-do city, and an inspiration for those who read and will follow. History is built on the past. The present day is extremely important but the future is brighter still! A number of anniversary initiatives targeted towards our different stakeholders will take place throughout the year, the first among them being the Hung Hom Heritage Tour (conducted in Cantonese only, click here to view content in Chinese). Please watch this space for further details as they become available.
January 2017
Hong Kong DNA
The “Hong Kong DNA” documentary programme explores our living heritage in the aspects of Clothing, Food, Shelter and Transport, in a bid to discover the wisdom of the people that makes Hong Kong tick. “Hong Kong DNA” is planned and produced by the Hong Kong Heritage Project and was launched on 11 November in Hong Kong. It will be circulated to all local secondary schools and aired in Hong Kong and regional TV channels.
November 2016
Young Historian Programme - A New Phase
Over the past three years the Young Historian Programme (YHP), in partnership with the Hong Kong Baptist University, has provided a successful platform for students to learn about Hong Kong’s history through inter-disciplinary approaches and participatory learning. The first YHP syllabus introduced oral history as research method, which was kicked off with an in-depth preparatory workshop in March 2014. . This year, we have launched a new phase of the YHP for past participants interested in further pursuing the oral history discipline. We recently started recruiting former YHP ‘alumni’ to become members of the new HKHP Oral History Interview Panel. One aim of the new phase of YHP is to supplement and enrich the materials we already possess. Therefore, the Panel will target a different theme for each interview, for example on the topic of Hong Kong’s agricultural history or CLP’s community relations. In doing so, we hope to combine voices from different neighbourhoods, strata and professions and present a more comprehensive picture of Hong Kong’s past.
April 2016
Hong Kong Refuge Research Project
In the 1930s and 1940s, an estimated 18,000 central European Jewish refugees escaped Nazi terror in the new Greater Germany to the ‘safe haven’ of Shanghai, then one of the only open doors available to persecuted Jews. They spent the war years in the Chinese metropolis until their further migration to Israel, the United States, Australia and South America. ‘Hong Kong Refuge’ examines the role of Hong Kong in the migration and survival of German and Austrian refugees before and after the Second World War. The project will be the first to document refugee lives in the former British colony. In the 1930s, amidst a wider Chinese refugee crisis, a small group of Jewish refugees came to Hong Kong to work as musicians, engineers and dress makers. They were able to find jobs thanks to the existing Jewish community, British intellectual progressives and through their family connections. In September 1939 Austrian and German Jews were interned as ‘enemy aliens’ and in 1940 they were ordered to leave the colony by the Hong Kong Government. At the end of the Second World War, as Jewish refugees sought to leave Shanghai, Hong Kong was again used as a transit port and for consular services for thousands hoping to start new lives across the world. To get in touch or find out more about the project, follow our dedicated blog here.
January 2016
Recent Archival Acquisition
The Hong Kong Heritage Project (HKHP) has acquired a collection of valuable historic postcards, newspaper clippings and a rare special edition 1908 souvenir brochure from The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH). The collection tells the story of the Majestic Hotel, today’s Peninsula Paris, situated on 19 Avenue Kléber. The hotel was first opened in 1908 and welcomed guests including Marcel Proust, James Joyce and Pablo Picasso. In 1928 George Gershwin wrote one of his best known compositions ‘An American in Paris’ whilst at the hotel, invoking the sights and sounds of the French capital in the 1920s. The Majestic witnessed the cultural, military and political events of the day through its role as a military field hospital during World War One and a venue for peace conferences that gave birth to the League of Nations in 1920. The hotel was later used as an international conference centre under the control of the French Government’s Foreign Ministry, where the Paris Peace Accords were signed which brought the Vietnam War to a close in 1973. The building was built over the course of two years (1906 - 1908) and was painstakingly restored by HSH in four (2010 - 2014).
November 2014