Hong Kong Heritage Museum - Chinese Art

Ox and Cart - Han Dynasty, Scholar - Tan Dynasty, Pear Shape Vases - Yuan Dynasty
It is like a treasure when browsing the old-time Chinese art in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.  Apart from how Hong Kong evolves from a fishing village and agricultural society to the modern time, it also houses a lot of beautiful and precious art pieces.  I am not going to talk a lot but show the art by period.  Take your time!

Mounted Musicans Northern Wei Dynasty
 Sui Dynasty

Entertainer - Tang Dynasty

 Tang Dynasty

 Song Dynasty

Covered Meiping Vases - Yuan Dynasty
 Covered Jar and Enamelled Flask-Qing Dynasty

bowl 10-13th Century
Yellow Bowl - 19 century
White Glass with blue floral 19th -20th Century
White Glass with green floral 19th -20th Century.
If you are interested in the entertainment history in Hong Kong, click here for a quick reading.


Hong Kong Heritage Museum - Entertainment art

15 June 2012

Cantonese Opera was a popular art and entertainment to the general public.  It is a drama and art originated during the Ming Dynasty.  The characteristic is Big Gong and Big Drum style.  Make up is heavy and costume very exquisite, representing the status and character of each role.  Unlike European opera, Cantonese opera focuses more on the lyrics than the music.  Traditional Chinese instruments such as the Erwu, Flute, and percussion, make up the Cantonese Opera orchestra. The percussion is responsible for the overall rhythm and pace of the music, while the Erwu leads the orchestra. Now, Cantonese opera has incorporated many western instruments such as saxophone and even violin which are often used in place of the Erwu.  Some of the older generation nowadays still attend the opera shows though performance becomes rare.  Venues are facing threats of being demolished for redevelopment aiming for better and even higher rental price.  It's sad that traditions and culture are disappearing due to monetary benefits to the real estate companies.

Wanna experience a famous opera, Scarifice of Princecess, click here 
kungfu cinema


Hong Kong film industry has undergone various changes and ups and downs.  As a child, my entertainment after school was old films shown at tv which shot years ago.  My impression of Cantanoese opera generated.   A few famous ones:

The museum dedicated a section to Roman 羅文, borne in 1947 and became very popular between the end of 1960s and 1990s.  He is one of the pioneers singing Cantonese song.  The first famous one is 前程錦繡, a very popular Japanese TV series dubbed with Cantonese.  His famous songs are numerous.  A few for appreciation:


Hong Kong Heritage Museum - The Hakkas and Fishing Origin

15 June 2012
HK Heritage Museum - Hakka Women
It has been more than 10 years that I haven't been to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.  Today, a Picasso exhibition brought me back.  Hmm, a Spanish artist associating with the Chinese heritage.  It's a special event of the French May.  It drew a lot of people to the museum, though a bit remote.  People, family speaking different languages crowded at the venue.  Picasso's paintings shown were across his different periods.  Many photos of him and friends were also shown.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is unique in providing the history of Hong Kong, featuring Hakka (Guest family) migration, as a fishing village, the traditional Cantonese opera as the integral parts of Hong Kong's heritage, history and culture.

During the reign of Yongzheng and Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (18th century), people were encouraged to utilise wasteland for farming.  A big demographic shift of residents in the south moved to Hong Kong. They were name 'Hakka' (guest) as opposite to the Punti (local originals).  As the Hakka resettled in Hong Kong at a later stage, they could only build their home in the New Territorities, at poorer farmland.  Hakka people denote 'hard work and determination'.  Hakka women, in particular, were diligent workers with high stimina.  They worked in the fields and undertook all heavy labour work. 

Houses, tools for making living, different shops and a model of a clan are exhibited. Audiences can imagine the hard life and the united spirit of the Hakkas.
The plough (top right) was carried by a buffalo to loosen the soil. The sieve of buffalo manure (top left) was used to fertilise the soil.  After harvest, rice plants were threshed by blashing against a wooden frame.  The tub is for holding the grain ears and the screen is to prevent the grain ears from sprinkling out of the tub.  Lastly, the rice-hulling mill is for husking rice.

Early settlers conducted their business in the markets.  They brought their produce there and purchased their daily necessities.  Traditonal markets were found in Tai Po, Sheung Shui and Yuen Long.  They were founded by important clans.  With the decline of agriculture in 1970s, all these vanished but pieces of history.
Kun Lung Wai - by Tang clan in Fanling
Some of the clan villages are preserved.  Still five walled villages and six villages of the Tang Clan can be viewed.

Another heritage of Hong Kong is fishing, vanishing......Short documentary film replayed in the museum to let one envisage the old days.  Life was harsh.  Fishing families clustered in bad environment or crowded on fishing boat spending their daily life. 
Wanna learn about the entertainment history?  Click here.  Or browse national grade treasure, antique displayed at the Heritage Museum.

Equally interesting and worth browsing is the rich collection of Chinese art.  Don't miss it.