Lost and Sound – Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage
3 November 2021 - 3 February 2023Free
Sam Tung Uk located in Tsuen Wan is a 200-year-old Hakka walled house that was declared a monument in 1981. It was converted into the Sam Tung UK Museum and open to the public after restoration in 1987. In June 2016, the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Office set up the Hong Kong ICH Centre at Sam Tung Uk Museum as a display and resource centre. It aims to enhance the public’s understanding and awareness of ICH through various educational and promotional activities. To offer an enriching and inspiring visiting experience, the ICH Office started a large-scale exhibition revamp in late 2020. The revamp works have been the largest ever since the inception of the ICH Centre.
In addition to reorganising the gallery space of the Centre, a new exhibition series Lost and Sound─Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage, with local architect and artist, Mr Stanley Siu, as the guest curator and around 30 ICH bearers’ participation, will also be launched.
Traditional culture and craftsmanship like the making techniques of flower boards, lion heads, wood carving, Hong Kong cheongsams, guangcai, Chiu Chow sugar loafs, mahjong tiles, galvanised iron products, dim sum and bamboo steamers, as well as performances in traditional festivals like hand puppet Cantonese Opera, bayin (eight categories of instrumental music) and unicorn dance, will be displayed. With more artistic and multimedia elements added, the exhibition reinterprets local traditional culture in an innovative and creative way, enabling visitors to learn more about Hong Kong ICH and the history, culture and architectural features of Sam Tung Uk.
Series I: Hong Kong Festivals and Traditional Craftsmanship
The exhibition showcases a variety of ICH items associated with traditional festivals and craftsmanship in an innovative way, by presenting them according to four types of sounds, namely “vocal”, “instrumental”, “physical” and “situational”. These different aspects refer, repectively, to the sounds produced by the throat, the clattering sounds generated by instruments, the sounds produced by body movement, and the noise of the hustle and bustle heard at different festive occasions. Through the display of the relevant crafts created, articles or tool used, and recordings and videos, visitors can experience the wide diversity of these events and appreciate the timeless ingenuity and perseverance embedded in Hong Kong’s ICH.
Series II: Ordinary‧Extraordinary
This exhibition is divided into two zones, “Ordinary” and “Extraordinary”, showcasing thirteen selected items of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). The “Ordinary” zone is closely related to the everyday lives of people who may not be able to distinguish the exhibits from household items, even at the shortest distance, whereas the “Extraordinary” zone introduces rituals and ceremonies held on special occasions or at special sites as well as relevant performances and craftsmanship. These ICH items not only reflect the local lifestyle, but also feature the cultural deposits of Hong Kong as an international metropolis, allowing nostalgic feelings to be shared with visitors.
Series III: Sam Tung Uk and Traditional Village Culture
As a treasured monument, Sam Tung Uk demonstrates the wisdom and building techniques of the pioneer settlers as well as aspects of traditional rural culture, with traces of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) being clear to see here. In this connection, this exhibition is presented in the four dwellings near the central axis of the village, displaying the history and architectural features of Sam Tung Uk, as well as the life etiquette and food culture of the traditional rural villages in Hong Kong. Visitors are not only able to learn about the cultural connotations of Sam Tung Uk through the demonstration of ICH items of traditional villages, but can also experience elements of village life and culture of the old days from different perspectives.