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Curatorial Concept of special exhibition “Across Victoria Harbour”

Across Victoria Harbour Exhibition

Curated by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, special exhibition “Across Victoria Harbour”,  which illustrates the development of maritime transportation in Victoria Harbor from 1842 to the present. With photos, historical documents, interviews, interactive installations, etc., the exhibition demonstrates the role and evolution of different passenger vessels and working vessels, such as sampans, ferries, "Walla Walla", tugboats and barges, in maritime transportation. We hope that the public would realize the importance of these vessels to the development of Hong Kong and the daily life of Hongkongers with this exhibition. During the preparation of the exhibition, we are glad that we have received valuable advice from Mr. Tim Ko, Hong Kong & Kowloon Motor Boats & Tug Boats Association Ltd., and Hong Kong Cargo-Vessel Traders’ Association Ltd. Moreover, we have thankfully received donations from Mr. Choi Kim Lui JP, and Ms. Choi Hoi Shuen Athena, This exhibition is a legacy made by the Choi Family in memory of the late Mr Choi Kim Kwong.

Across Victoria Harbour Exhibition Poster

The exhibition consists of four sections: "The Harbour, the City and the People", "Crossing the Harbour", "Freight Transport" and "Changes in Harbour Voyages". Each session is illustrated by ship models to interpret Victoria Harbor in different eras. " The Harbour, the City and the People " displays a series of vintage photos and paintings from the north shore of Hong Kong Island to the Kowloon Peninsula as to illustrate the development of cross-strait activities in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula; in the " Crossing the Harbour" and " Freight Transport",  these two sections present the changes of  Hong Kong society by the development of trade and population flow , and vessels for various functions have been built one after the other; the final section " Changes in Harbour Voyages ",  demonstrates that even though the golden days of these vessels are over since the opening of cross-harbour tunnel, the stories of these vessels are not at an end but turn a new page in the history of Victoria Harbour.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the old motorboats "Walla Walla". It’s a small wooden motorboat named after the sound of its engine while sailing. The curatorial team demonstrate its uniqueness to visitors in difference ways in the exhibition, including a disassembled ship model for showing its cabin, a ship model with sound of its engine in a water tank, a life-size reconstructed old ticket booth next to the Victoria Harbour view, , multimedia game which simulates ticket selling at the pier in the past, and "Hoi Kee Daily" which reports motorboats related news as well.

Across Victoria Harbour Interview

The curatorial team also interviewed some stakeholders in the maritime industries who are familiar with "Walla Walla", tugboats and barges for this exhibition. Visitors not only gain an in-depth understanding of the daily operations of the port but can also feel the enthusiasm of these stakeholders for maritime industry. Must-see exhibits also include 100 slides capturing different views of Victoria Harbour from the 1950s to the 1980s, the lithographs of Hong Kong landscape etched in 1846 by British architect and artist, Murdoch Bruce, and a hand-written copy of "Proposal of water taxi" which was submitted to the government etc. Situated at Central Pier 8 and surrounded by the sea from three sides offering stunning panorama of Victoria Harbour, the exhibition will certainly worth seeing.

“Behind the Exhibition: Work of a Curator” sharing session

In order to convey Hong Kong's unique maritime culture more effectively, the curatorial team held four talks to enhance the storytelling during the exhibition. The exhibition is coming to an end, and the museum sincerely invites everyone to participate in the "Vehicular Ferry Cruise in Victoria Harbour" and " Behind the Exhibition: Work of a Curator” sharing session to be held in May. Victoria Harbour is Hong Kong one of the most valuable possessions and occupies a unique place in the heart of Hongkongers and tourists. We welcome all the visitors share their stories regarding Victoria Harbor with us.

Event details:

“Across Victoria Harbour” Special Exhibition

Date: 1 March – 19 May 2024

Time: 9:30 – 17:30 (Mon to Fri) and 10:00 – 19:00 (Sat, Sun and public holidays)

Location: Special Exhibitions and Events Gallery, Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Central Pier 8

Exhibition Details:


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