Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of our City since 1945
24 June - 30 October
The Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) announces the opening of Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of our City since 1945, running from 24 June to 30 October 2022. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the major sponsor of the exhibition. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR, the special exhibition will explore Hong Kong’s miraculous transformation from the ashes of World War II into a global maritime hub through 25 iconic exhibits. The exhibition leverages art and technology, and features a series of five newly produced short movies directed by award-winning filmmaker Heiward Mak. Through a pioneering fusion of history, art and science, the museum is committed to providing an all-round experience for the public to learn and communicate knowledge of maritime history and heritage.
Arranged chronologically, the exhibition will comprise five phases of the post-war maritime history: “Regeneration (1945-1948)”, “Back in Business (1949-1970)”, “The High Growth Years (1960s-1980s)”, “The Container Changed Everything (1972-present)”, and “The Future”. Starting with the display of a World War II bomb excavated in Happy Valley, the exhibition will invite audiences on a journey from the destruction to the rebirth of the city, made possible by the resilience of the maritime and Hong Kong communities. Collective memories of the community are told through exhibits such as ‘Made in Hong Kong’ products, artefacts, personal memorabilia and historical photography on seafarers, Star Ferry, dockyards, and container terminals. These examples illustrate the crucial role of shipping in our daily lives in the past, present and future. Highlights will include the display of a Star Ferry turnstile that had been used as a faregate in the 20th century; the oil painting of Seawise Giant (later renamed Jahre Viking), the world’s largest ship ever built that cemented the city’s role as the centre of ship management operations; and an outdoor display of the only remaining ‘Dai Fei’ (speedboat) in existence, captured by the Hong Kong Marine Police and used for training purposes until the end of 2020. Altogether, these items attest to Hong Kong’s growing presence on the global maritime stage. The exhibition will conclude with a forward-looking section dedicated to sustainability while celebrating Hong Kong’s spirit of resilience and vitality, signified by the silver medal won by swimmer Siobhán Bernadette Haughey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Delivering a new immersive experience through the fusion of art and technology, visitors will be guided through the exhibition by a fictional character named Carmen So featured in a series of five short movies by Hong Kong-based filmmaker Heiward Mak, starring Yatho Wong, Alma Kwok, Nancy Kwai, Sing Lam, Miu Shan Tai and Mr. Jan as the leads. Through the eyes of the fictional Hongkonger in her twenties, the movies weave stories of love and family with the maritime developments in the city and highlight our everyday connections with the maritime world. Moreover, the exhibition will feature interactive elements, including a motion-sensing game based on the Shikumisen finance system which was used by shipowners during the post-war period and an interactive projection wall about green shipping, as well as a virtual reality experience to view and locate bombs in Hong Kong during the World War II.
“The vision of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is to be the custodian of ocean-related history and heritage to the Hong Kong community. 2022 is a year of transformation for the museum, as we expand our offerings to include science, fusing it with history and art to provide the public with a crossover learning experience. Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of our City since 1945 is a prime example of how we enhance awareness of important maritime history through a blend of art and technology,” said Prof. Joost Schokkenbroek, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. “In addition, the brand-new Swire Marine Discovery Centre will open at the museum later this year, which will enable us to further engage the community by offering multi-purpose venues for dialogues, research and public programmes about maritime heritage and ecology. Fusing these elements makes a lot of sense. I believe that maritime history, shipping, marine science and ecology are very much intertwined. As a museum, we are dedicated to raising awareness of this connectivity for the present and future generations.”
The Hong Kong Maritime Museum would like to thank the generous supporters of the exhibition, notably the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the major sponsor of Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of our City since 1945. This exhibition is one of the many initiatives supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s approved donation of HK$630 million to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.
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