Saturdays with HKMM: Hong Kong Maritime Culture Salon

Special Summer Programme for Maritime Crossroads: Millennia of Global Trade in Hong Kong 

Saturdays with HKMM: Hong Kong Maritime Culture Salon

10 July to 7 August 2021, every Saturday, 2:30 - 4:30 pm (2 hours)

Valid museum admission ticket required

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Immerse yourself in a journey of discovery to experience 6,000 years of Hong Kong maritime history! This summer from 10 July onwards, join HKMM on five consecutive Saturday afternoons to enjoy the Maritime Crossroads exhibition, and learn about the fascinating maritime stories from our experts and speakers. Through interactive discussions, you will find out how these stories connect with our daily lives. This programme and exhibition is generously supported by the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund (MATF).

Open to the public to participate. Please register in advance.

10 july

2:30pm

A Giant on Clay Feet. The Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1800.

- Prof. Joost Schokkenbroek

3:30pm

Hong Kong onto the World Stage

-Mr. Tim Ko

17 july

2:30pm

The California Trade in Hong Kong in the 19th Century
-Prof. Elizabeth Sinn 

3:30pm

The Spanish link to global trade and exchanges
-Mr. Juan Jose Morales

24 july

2:30pm

Underwater Archaeology and Maritime Silk Roads
-Prof. Jiang Bo

3:30pm

“Object Flows” across the Port Cities: An Observation on Ceramic Objects from Hong Kong Archaeological Sites during the 9th to 20th Centuries
-Prof. Sharon Wong

31 july

2:30pm

Trading Places: China’s Former Treaty Ports
-Mr. Nicholas Kitto

7 AUGUST

2:30pm

Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong before Second World War
-Dr. Joseph Ting

Programme Details

10 July (Saturday)

Part I

A Giant on Clay Feet. The Rise and Fall of the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1800.

Speaker: Prof. Joost Schokkenbroek

Time: 2:30 pm 

Language: English

 

Abstract:

In his richly illustrated presentation, Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s Director Professor Joost Schokkenbroek will take his audience back to the 17th and 18th centuries. He will focus on the establishment of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), on the fierce competition the Dutch experienced from the English in particular – both in Europe and in Asia – and on the company’s presence in Canton as the city and the area played an important role in the VOC’s trading networks.

Speaker’s Bio:

Professor Joost Schokkenbroek is the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum since March 2021. A citizen of the Netherlands, Prof. Schokkenbroek was previously the Executive Director at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Canada. He holds MA and PhD degrees in maritime history from Leiden University in the Netherlands and is the former Chief Curator of Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The Dutch National Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam (1991-2017). He has been visiting professor at (among others) Cornell University, Tufts University, Middlebury College, Higher School of Economics Saint Petersburg, Tokyo University and brings close to 35 years of experience in the field of museum leadership and maritime heritage. He is also an emeritus Professor of Maritime History and Heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and still serves as Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Prof. Schokkenbroek has published books, papers and lectured widely on maritime material culture, on various maritime industries and on the extensive historical ties based on maritime trade between the West and the East and particularly with China, Japan and Indonesia.

Part II

Hong Kong onto the World Stage

Speaker: Mr. Tim Ko

Time: 3:30 pm

Language: Cantonese

 

Abstract:

Perhaps no port city in history has risen so rapidly as Hong Kong. Shipping and trade brought Hong Kong onto the world stage - the Entrepôt of the Orient was about to set out on an extraordinary journey. Illustrated with historical paintings and photos, the speaker will recall the story.

Speaker’s Bio:

Ko Tim-keung is a Hong Kong history researcher.  He was formerly council member of Royal Asiatic Society (Hong Kong Branch), member of Antiquities Advisory Board and museum expert adviser for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.  At present he is a member of the collection committee, Hong Kong Maritime Museum. He has written extensively on various aspects of Hong Kong history.

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17 July (Saturday)

Part I

The California Trade in Hong Kong in the 19th Century

Speaker: Prof. Elizabeth Sinn 

Time: 2:30 pm 

Language: Cantonese

 

Abstract:

In the mid-nineteenth century, thousands of Cantonese joined the gold rush to California – known as ‘Gold Mountain’, Hong Kong served as their gateway, both on their way out and on their way home.   Along with passenger and cargo shipping, import and export trade, remittances and currency exchange business, ship outfitting and repair, etc. thrived, making the Gold Mountain trade a pillar of Hong Kong’s economy with far-reaching effects on markets in China and Southeast Asia.

Speaker’s Bio:

Elizabeth Sinn, Hon. Professor of the University of Hong Kong, is a historian of Hong Kong and Modern China, with a special interest in charity, business, culture, the media and migration. Among her works are the history of the Tung Wah Hospital and the Bank of East Asia.  The Chinese edition of her book, Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong (2012) won the 2019 Hong Kong Book Prize.

Part II

The Spanish link to global trade and exchanges

Speaker: Mr. Juan Jose Morales

Time: 3:30 pm

Language: English

 

Abstract:

With the discovery by Andrés de Urdaneta of a return route from the Philippines to America across the Pacific in 1565, people, knowledge and goods could travel around the world for the first time. Manila became the most sinicized city outside China, and the Selden map reconfirms the axis Fujian-Manila as the most important trade route in Asia in the 17th century: silver from Spanish America became the link, the first global currency and the linchpin to the global economy.

But many cultural exchanges took place that have been forgotten: it was Martin de Rada who, after his embassy to Fujian in 1575, announced that Marco Polo’s Cathay and China were the same thing, solving forever an old riddle. His account and the Chinese books he collected were included in Mendoza’s famous bestseller on China; first published in 1585 and translated into the main European languages, this book was the source of the standard knowledge of China in the West for decades. First translations from a European language, Spanish, into Chinese took place in Manila, while the Ku-Chin hsing-shêng Chih t'u was the first Chinese map of China to reach the West.

Speaker’s Bio:

Juan José Morales is co-author of Painter and Patron: The Maritime Silkroad in the Códice Casanatense (Abbreviated Essays, 2020) and The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalisation, 1565-1815 (Penguin, 2017).

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24 July (Saturday)

Part I

Underwater Archaeology and Maritime Silk Roads

Speaker: Prof. Jiang Bo 

Time: 2:30 pm 

Language: Mandarin (Online Interactive Session at the Museum)

 

Abstract:

The talk will be about the shipwreck archaeology of recent years. Ports, shipwrecks, and trade goods are always the most important archaeological remains to study the ancient Maritime Silk Roads. In the older days, people relied on monsoons, ocean currents and the traditional navigation technology to connect the East and the West, facilitated the transmission of trade, culture, technology, religion, and ideas between different continents. Groups involved in the Maritime Silk Roads included Chinese, Persian-Arabs, Indians, Malays, and also Westerns after the Great Voyage.

Speaker’s Bio:

Jiang Bo is a professor at the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Shandong University and concurrently the vice chairman of the ICOMOS-China. Graduated from the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, his research focuses are underwater archaeology, maritime Silk Road research and archaeology of the Han and Tang Dynasties. He worked at the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Cultural Heritage Research Institute, Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection Center of the National Cultural Heritage Administration; visiting scholar at Harvard University and the National Gallery of Art.

Part II

“Object Flows” across the Port Cities: An Observation on Ceramic Objects from Hong Kong Archaeological Sites during the 9th to 20th Centuries

Speaker: Prof. Sharon Wong

Time: 3:30 pm

Language: Cantonese

 

Abstract:

This talk introduces the ceramic object flows across the port cities through the archaeological findings from Hong Kong archaeological sites during the 9th to 20th centuries. Object flows means the dynamic repertoire of objects in motion within a given period and geographic range. We will discuss two research questions during this talk: How can we understand the ceramic objects found from various Hong Kong archaeological sites during the 9th to 20th centuries? What are the social impacts of material cultural changes in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, and other port cities in Asia by using trade ceramic objects produced from Hong Kong, other provinces of China and the world? Finally, we will conclude how archaeology provides a new placing of Hong Kong into the interregional trading networks of Maritime Asia.

Speaker’s Bio:

Sharon Wong is an assistant professor from the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore and was awarded her Master degree from the School of Archaeology and Museology in Peking University, China. Her research interests include archaeology, China-Southeast Asian cultural interaction in historical period, trade ceramic studies, technology of craft production and cultural heritage studies. She undertakes her fieldworks in Southeast Asia and China. She is currently working on the archaeological research projects of Khmer-Chinese ceramic studies in Angkor, Cambodia, Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau port city networking along maritime ceramic road in Asia.

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31 July (Saturday)

Trading Places: China’s Former Treaty Ports

Speaker: Mr. Nicholas Kitto 

Time: 2:30 pm 

Language: English

 

Abstract:

From 2008, Nick spent twelve years visiting the former treaty ports to photograph the surviving buildings, of which there are many, from the Treaty Port Era, which ran roughly from 1840 to 1943. These visits culminated in a photographic collection of some 4,400 images, several of which are included in his recently published book, Trading Places, A Photographic Journey Through China’s Former Treaty Ports.  Nick’s presentation, which will assume some basic knowledge on treaty ports, will be based on his motivation for the project and some of the buildings he photographed, and will also touch upon his family’s involvement in the Era. A soft book launch will also be held for his recently publication.

Speaker’s Bio:

Nicholas Kitto, LRPS, author of Trading Places, A Photographic Journey Through China’s Former Treaty Ports.

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7 August (Saturday)

​Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong before Second World War

Speaker: Dr. Joseph Ting 

Time: 2:30 pm 

Language: Cantonese

 

Abstract:

Soon after its opening as a free seaport in 1841, Hong Kong developed into an important entrepot in the Far East and attracted traders from all over the world including Portuguese, Jews and Parsees among others. The talk will focus on these three groups of people, including their places of origin, how they settled in Hong Kong, their role in our history as well as their contribution to the city.    

Speaker’s Bio:

Dr Joseph Ting Sun Pao is a native of Fengshun, Guangdong Province. He acquired his PhD from the University of Hong Kong. He was, prior to retirement, the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History. He is currently a Hon. Professor of the School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong, and Adjunct Professor and Hon. Senior Research Fellow of the Department of History of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr Ting serves as Adviser and Director of many local museums as well as cultural institutions. He was awarded the BBS by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2019.

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