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Subject Talk Series on History and Culture of Hong Kong

Subject Talk Series on History and Culture of Hong Kong

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the 60th anniversary of Hong Kong Public Libraries in 2022, and to raise the public awareness on local history and culture, Hong Kong Public Libraries organise the “Subject Talk Series on History and Culture of Hong Kong” hosted by renowned scholars, academics and authors.

Past Activities

The Evolution of Chinese Opera from the Perspectives of Cantonese Opera in Contemporary Hong Kong (Full)
Date: 2022/12/4 (Sunday)
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Yau Ma Tei Public Library (Extension Activities Room)
Description: Cantonese opera has been flourishing in contemporary Hong Kong. In addition to a multitude of premiere performances, Cantonese opera has maintained a number of ancient rituals and preserved the tunes from Kun opera of the Ming dynasty and operatic styles such as bangzi and erhuang of the Qing dynasty. Moreover, performances originating from the operatic plays of the Song, Ming and Yuan dynasties are often staged. This talk will survey the transmission of contemporary Cantonese opera in Hong Kong and explore how the elements of traditional Chinese opera are preserved and modernised in Cantonese opera.
Small Industries and Community in To Kwa Wan
Date: 2022/11/12 (Saturday)
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Kowloon Public Library (Extension Activities Room)
Description: The Second World War marks the watershed in the industrial development of To Kwa Wan. Most of its pre-war industries were obnoxious and dangerous, such as the processing or production of leather, fur, cow bones and fire crackers while its post-war counterparts were mainly light industries such as the manufacturing of cotton textiles and clothing. However, To Kwa Wan has seldom been mentioned in the industrial development of Hong Kong. In fact, the district was once an industrial area in which the streets were packed with factory workers during morning and evening commuting hours and lunch time. The speaker compiled a collection of stories about the personal growth and family life of residents in the community by interviewing the old neighbours of the district. These stories are marked by industrial elements such as small factories, contracting system, original equipment manufacturing and people who persevered to work hard and seized the opportunities to set up their own business, demonstrating that industries and people’s livelihood in the community are inextricably intertwined.
Appreciation and Conservation of Hong Kong's Built Heritage (Full)
Date: 2022/10/15 (Saturday)
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library (Extension Activities Room)
Description: Despite the city’s urban landscape of a densely built “concrete forest”, a number of nostalgic historic buildings have been well preserved. In this talk, the speaker will introduce historic buildings of Chinese style and western style and those of a blend of both. He will also share with participants his experience of preserving the Lui Seng Chun and Central Market buildings to look into the relationship between social development and preservation of historic buildings. The speaker will also analyse how the social development at different times may generate different outcomes in terms of the visions and methods of building preservation.
Down Memory Lane: Movie Theatres of the Olden Days
Date: 2022/9/11 (Sunday)
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Hong Kong Central Library (Lecture Theatre, G/F)
Description: In the olden days, local movie theatres were known as “opera theatres” where there were mainly Cantonese opera performances. In the 1950s, when a movie was on show in an “opera theatre”, the venue became “movie theatre” on tickets and publicity materials. Showcasing precious old theatre photos, postcards, movie tickets and handbills, this talk will present to participants the evolution of local theatres over the past century. In an atmosphere of nostalgia, the talk will give them a taste of the culture of old movie theatres in the days gone by.