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Asian Monsoon

2 Jun 2015 - 12 Aug 2015 

The Asian Monsoon impacts agriculture which feeds two-thirds of humanity

The Asian monsoon is one of the dominant climatic features of planet Earth and largely controls the environmental conditions of the most populous continent in the world.

In the past, changes in the Monsoon have led to floods and famines. What will happen in the future? Scientists predict that as global warming alters the climate the monsoon will become stronger with increased rainfall. It will also become more variable with both heavier rainfall and also times when the rains fail. There will also be changes in patterns of where the rain falls. This will both threaten infrastructure and have an impact on food production.


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Made in Hong Kong: Our City. Our Stories

5 Mar 2015 - 04 Sep 2015 

Sponsored by HSBC, Hong Kong Maritime Museum's largest exhibition ever had record-breaking attendance of more than 100,000 visitors in six months. 

What Makes Hong Kong Unique? In three galleries, Changing Landscapes, Trade and Commerce and the People’s Wall, visitors experience over 150 years of history in Hong Kong.

Changing Landscapes

150 years of momentous changes.  Experience Hong Kong’s physical, political and socioeconomic history in a multisensory presentation.

People’s Wall

What is the Hong Kong spirit that has made this city into one of the most successful places in the world?

·    City of Talent - How do you interpret success?  In this gallery the extraordinary talents of Hong Kong people, some famous, others not so well known, in Sports, Culture, Entertainment, Medicine and Science, Technology and Innovation and Business and Finance.

·    Hong Kong Life - What did Hong Kong look like in those early days in the 1800s?  How has it changed over time?  This gallery explore the colours and nuances of Hong Kong life in Rule of Law, Workforce, Migration, Families and Recreation, Food and Markets and Street Life

·    Cherished Possessions - Artefacts of high quality and authenticity are hallmarks of Hong Kong, a centre of art collecting. In this gallery eight collectors–some world famous–share their most precious possessions: imperial Chinese porcelain, glassware, ancient jades, classical furniture, snuff bottles and contemporary and traditional Chinese art.

Trade and Commerce

When Hong Kong was ceded to the British in 1841, the city quickly became known as the best place to do trade with China and international trade took off. Commerce included everything from transporting foodstuffs, luxury items, people and livestock. As the colony grew, early industries took shape and both Western and Chinese entrepreneurs were flourishing by the end of the 19th century. This gallery is divided into five time periods and floor-to-ceiling displays feature products and brands, each with a reference to how they fit into the fashions and requirements of their day.

·    Science on a Sphere  - A 360° multisensory display – makes its Hong Kong debut at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. See and hear the story of how a natural deep water harbour has transformed into a global trading powerhouse.





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Palaces on the Seas: The Golden Age of French Ocean Liners

28 May 2014 - 26 Aug 2014 

This special exhibition featured the golden age of travel on French ocean liners in the latenineteenth and early twentieth century, when fine design and the art of living were an integral part of long distance trips. Immense and majestic, these French lines embodied the French lifestyle and the splendor of French culture. These “Palaces on the Seas” carried travelers who desired comfort, modernity and a new horizon all over the world, including the Far East.

This exhibition focuses on two large French cruise lines, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and Les Messageries Maritimes. More than 200 objects, including posters, drawings, silverware, ship models, costumes, illustrated books, and photographs, will be displayed. Most of these objects are displayed to the public in Hong Kong for the first timepresenting a unique chance for visitors to experience a travel in a French art style.

Keen to surprise and to satisfy their passengers, both lines invited renowned artists to decorate their interiors including architects and designers such as Dominique, Rulhmann, Lanel and Laique, and French Marine painters such as Brenet and Sebille, poster designers Colin, Cassandre, and Sandy-Hook. Major French manufactures including Christofle, Ercuis, Puiforcat, Saint Louis, and Haviland also combined their creativity and skills to develop these floating palaces.

This exhibition was co-organised by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum in association with the French Lines as part of Le French May arts festival 2014. The Exhibition exclusively sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with the support of the Peninsula Hotel.

Organized activiites included public talks, schools and community programming, family activities and guided tours.

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The Selden Map and Other Treasures from the University of Oxford

 21 Mar 2014 - 23 Jun 2014 

This exhibition presented the early 17th century maritime heritage of the Ming Dynasty, including unique collections from the Oxford University’s Boldeian Libraries. Most of the objects were displayed to the public in Hong Kong for the first time. 

This exhibition was jointly organised by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries. Programming included an international symposium, adult education, family workshops and guided tours.  


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Through the Lens of John Thomson: Hong Kong and Coastal China 1868-1872

23 Nov 2013 - 16 Feb 2014 

This is the first exhibition devoted to the images of China taken by the Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837 – 1921).  Born in Edinburgh two years before the invention of the daguerreotype and the birth of photography, Thomson first travelled to Asia in 1862, where he set up a professional photographic studio. Fascinated by local cultures, Thomson returned in 1868 and settled in Hong Kong. Over the next four years he made extensive trips to Guangdong, Fujian, Beijing, China’s north-east and down the great river Yangzi. This exhibition is drawn from his time in these regions.

These were the early days of photography, when negatives were made on glass plates that had to be coated with emulsion before exposure.  A cumbersome mass of equipment was required, but with perseverance and energy, Thomson captured a wide variety of images: landscapes, people, architecture, and domestic and street scenes. As a foreigner, his ability to gain access to photograph women was particularly remarkable.

Thomson’s excellent work in China established him as a serious pioneer of photojournalism and one of the most influential photographers of his generation.

After returning to Britain, Thomson took up an active role informing the public about China through illustrated lectures and publications. In 1920, he wrote to Henry Wellcome – pharmacist, philanthropist and collector – offering to sell his glass negatives. Thomson died before the transaction could be completed, and Wellcome bought the negatives from Thomson’s heirs in 1921. All images in the exhibition are from the Wellcome Library’s collection in London.

This exhibition seeks to show the great diversity of the photographs that Thomson took in China. What marked his work as special (portraits of the rich and famous aside) was the desire to present a faithful account of China and its people. Thomson wanted to show his audience the human aspects of life in China through his extensive record of everyday street scenes – rarely captured by other photographers of that era.