8 Places In Hong Kong To Learn About Local Heritage And Culture
1/8 Crafts On Peel
In the past, Hong Kong was filled with traditional crafts and creative trades that have begun to die out since the city became more developed and modernised. Opened at the beginning of 2020 within a historical building in Central, Crafts on Peel is a not-for-profit creative and experiential venue dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of such crafts. For its inaugural exhibition, it invited six contemporary artisans to collaborate with six traditional craftsmen in a variety of arts, from bamboo framework to birdcage crafting, and has plenty of other exhibitions, workshops, and programming in the works for the future.
2/8 Hong Kong Film Archive
Hong Kong cinema has a long and storied history, and much of it has been chronicled and collected at the Hong Kong Film Archive in Sai Wan Ho. The oldest film in its collection is a title that was released in 1914. In addition to regular screenings in its 125-seat cinema, the archive also runs exhibitions, seminars and other programming all about Hong Kong film. Its Resource Centre, meanwhile, houses hundreds of thousands of books, periodicals, audio-visual records, and other materials. The archive even edits a newsletter and two book series about the subject.
3/8 The Mills
These former cotton mills in Tswun Wan are where Nan Fung Textiles produced goods in the 1960s at the height of Hong Kong's manufacturing success. In 2018, the buildings were transformed by Nan Fung Group into The Mills, a destination that celebrates the area's industrial history, comprising a business incubator, experiential retail stores, and a non-profit cultural arm dubbed the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textiles (CHAT). While much of The Mills' heritage offerings can be discovered at CHAT's exhibitions and programmes, the much of the complex itself has been conserved and revitalised. Find out more about its history by booking a guided tour, which run every weekend.
See also: Inside The Mills: The Centre for Heritage, Arts And Textile In Hong Kong
4/8 Sam Tung Uk Museum
A declared historical monument, Sam Tung Uk is a 200-year-old restored rural Hakka village in Tsuen Wan that harks back to the days when Hong Kong was filled with villages and farmland rather than factories or skyscrapers. Although the original inhabitants relocated in the 1970s when the Tsuen Wan MTR station was built, the village itself was restored and opened as a museum in 1987. Visitors can explore the ancestral hall and houses as well as the exhibition hall where furniture, handicrafts and agricultural equipment are displayed. Sam Tung Uk is also home to the Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre, which runs exhibitions, seminars, workshops, and other activities pertaining to local culture.
5/8 Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts
With space always in high demand in Hong Kong, historical buildings can be something of a rarity. The Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Soho, however, features 16 of them. The product of a HK$3.8 billion project by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Tai Kwun was formerly the Central Police Station before opening as a cultural destination comprising restaurants, performing arts venues, and an art gallery in 2018. The centre also runs workshops, exhibitions, tours and other events dedicated to the site's history.
See also: 5 Things To Know About Tai Kwun Centre For Heritage And Arts
6/8 Mei Ho House
In 1953, there was a fire in Shek Kip Mei so massive that it resulted in almost 58,000 people being made homeless. To provide relief to those effected, the government built a series of resettlement blocks, which eventually became the city's first public housing estate complex. This estate's only remaining building is Mei Ho House, which was designated a grade II historic building and re-opened as YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel in 2013. The building is also home to the Heritage of Mei Ho House Museum, which features exhibitions exploring the district's public housing history from the 1950s through to the '70s.
7/8 Hong Kong House of Stories
The Blue House in Wan Chai, a grade II historic building and one of the last tong laus in Hong Kong with a balcony, might be easily recognisable for its striking blue exterior, but what it contains within is equally fascinating. On the ground floor is the Hong Kong House of Stories, a project that aims to both foster community and raise awareness about local culture. There's an exhibition area, which rotates shows dedicated to a variety of themes including antiques, film, and hawker stalls, and a handicrafts shop. The centre also runs tours, workshops, screenings, concerts, and plenty of other events.
8/8 Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Encompassing history, art and culture, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin features five permanent exhibitions dedicated to Cantonese opera, Chinese art, and more, along with frequent special exhibitions. The museum's collection of objects related to Cantonese opera is particularly impressive, and it also regularly runs Cantonese opera performances at its 35-seat theatre as well as other performing art shows and talks.
See also: 7 Global Cultural Experiences You Can Enjoy From Home