Early Hong Kong Travel (1880-1939): The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, Benjamin W. Yim and Louis Vuitton Collections
7 September to 27 November 2011
As part of The University of Hong Kong’s centennial celebration programme, the University Museum and Art Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition on early Hong Kong travel, from 1880 to 1939. In collaboration with an established collector, Benjamin W. Yim, the exhibition, with the participation and support of The Hong Kong Heritage Project, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and Louis Vuitton, features over 100 exhibits. Vintage menus, cabin trunks, programmes, postcards, photographs, luggage labels, travel guides and brochures, together with other miscellaneous items associated with recreational activities, will be on view.
Prior to the late-nineteenth century, travel was generally associated with trade and with people who had a keen interest in exploring. Driven by inquisitiveness, they made perilous journeys to places full of doubt and uncertainty. After the Industrial Revolution, with more reliable and faster transportation, travel was no longer limited to such purposes. Journeys for the sole purpose of pleasure and luxurious enjoyment became the norm. For those who could afford the luxury of sea travel in an unhurried age, ocean liners carried them to destinations that previously they could only dream of.
To give visitors a glimpse of Hong Kong’s pre-war colonial past, this exhibition, using travel as a theme, attempts to present impressions of Hong Kong as it would appear to European and American visitors arriving by ocean liner. The exhibition presents a number of late nineteenth century features in order to give visitors a realistic experience of what it was like to be in the city a century ago.
The Hong Kong Heritage Project is an initiative by The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie to preserve the history of the Kadoorie Family and their businesses, and to promote heritage preservation in Hong Kong.
An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is available.