Articles

Hong Kong History Comes Alive

In Hong Kong, Museums on March 24, 2011 by triotriotrio

The Hong Kong Museum of History is a “museum person’s” museum.

On Display at the HK History Museum

I have been so excited about visiting the History Museum ever since I have moved here to Hong Kong. But the list of things to see and do is long and distinguished so until now I had not found the time. Fortunately I got around to it today and made my way over to Kowloon. The History Museum shares a space with the Science Museum which will be another “to do” thing that I will need to get to.

Hong Kong History Museum

I say that the History Museum is a “museum’s person’s” museum because it was clearly designed and organized by people who love the discipline. Now I will visit just about any kind of museum but when I run across a place like this it really makes me happy. The museum creates a completely immersive experience. It is set up like the stage of a movie where every sight, sound, light and touch has been carefully crafted.

The museum begins with the telling of the geologically times of Hong Kong. What a snooze that could be! But here the visitors can touch and experience all the different rock forms that make up the island. The pathway is through a cavernous space where volcanoes erupt in the background and rock formations cover the walls. Multimedia sights and sounds are everywhere creating a pathway through time.

But the thing that I absolutely loved about the museum was the full size dioramas! Full size Chinese junks, a New Year’s Parade and “old time” stores fill the gallery spaces. The visitor is completely immersed in the story of Hong Kong. One can board the boat and walk around on the deck. The stores reminded me of the “Old Streets of Milwaukee” at the Milwaukee Public Museum, but here one can do more than just peer into the windows. All the stores are full size and completely accessible.

Everywhere in the galleries are beautiful photographic backdrops that frame the artifact within the context of history. There are certainly puff areas of the gallery but the museum also handles some tough subjects well. The Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong and the 1997 British handover are especially well done. Each gallery is filled with first-person recollections and film footage. Very powerful!

Hong Kong History Museum

I look forward to spending some more time here down the road. I just need to find the time.

Please check out my Flickr Page for more photos:

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One Response to “Hong Kong History Comes Alive”

  1. Wow! Great displays, Robert! Did the museum have a children’s area? If so, did that also have similar displays?

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