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Walk with Dr.Ting
Photograph: Courtesy of Hong Kong Museum of History

Walk with Dr. Ting

Then and now, the story of Hong Kong

Time Out Hong Kong in partnership with Hong Kong Museum of History
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The permanent exhibition tells the story of Hong Kong from 400 million years ago all the way to 1997. Although the exhibition is presently closed for a revamp, you can still experience and learn about Hong Kong history through an engaging video series led by Dr. Joseph Ting. 

The Walk with Dr. Ting e-series comprises 12 episodes, and the first four– the natural environment, prehistoric Hong Kong, the dynasties: from the Han to the Qing, and folk culture – are available for viewing now. Follow Dr. Ting as he shares the curatorial concepts behind the exhibits and their stories as you (figuratively) stroll through the eight galleries with him.

Photograph: Courtesy of Hong Kong Museum of History

As this is the Hong Kong Museum of History, the permanent exhibition is naturally about Hong Kong’s history and development, beginning with the Devonian period, when the earliest stones discovered so far in Hong Kong were formed.

The forest section has an 18m-high ceiling, the highest in the museum. All of the trees in the exhibit are indigenous to Hong Kong. With support from the South China Institute of Botany in Guangdong, and the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, the curators were able to accurately recreate Hong Kong’s natural environment before people inhabited the region .

Using photographs and bark specimens from Tai Mo Shan, a US company made the artificial trees and shipped them to Hong Kong. Eucalyptus trees can still be found in Tai Mo Shan today.

If you look closely, there are many animals hidden in the forest model, including a tiger, a bear  and wild boars. While wild boars can be found all over Hong Kong now, at the time when the exhibition was curated they weren’t as common. In the study area, you will see many types of shells and rocks on display, along with a large display of butterflies, as Hong Kong is home to a large variety of butterflies and moths. 

Photograph: Courtesy of Hong Kong Museum of History

Prehistoric human activity was reconstructed in this gallery based on archaeological evidence – prehistoric artefacts and rock carvings – unearthed in Hong Kong, which provided insight into the activities that the earliest inhabitants engaged in. The folk culture gallery also houses the largest display area of The Hong Kong Story exhibition. The exhibition designers identified a rich collection of folk cultures formed by distinctive  objects collected from  the New Territories during the 1960s and  1970s. 

While Hong Kong has undergone numerous changes and developments, a variety of traditions are still followed in the New Territories, which are now referred to as intangible cultural heritage.

The coming episodes will dive into evidence of the opium wars, the Japanese occupation, and the road to Hong Kong’s status today as a modern global metropolis. Tune in here

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