Travel Hong Kong
Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts celebrates first anniversary with Tai Kwun 101 exhibition showcasing the police, judiciary, prison, and immigration systems of Hong Kong. It coincides with the 175th anniversary of the foundation of the Hong Kong Police Force in 1844.
Tai Kwun 101 Exhibition Overview
Winnie Yeung, Head of Heritage at Tai Kwun, Sarah Mui, Co-Founder and Design Director of One Bite Design Studio, and Maxson Tsang, Manager of Colin, brief the media on the Tai Kwun 101 Exhibition. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Members of the media got a sneak preview of the Tai Kwun 101 Exhibition on 24 May 2019, the day before it opened to the public.
First we were given a briefing on the exhibition by Maxson Tsang, Manager of Colin; Winnie Yeung, Head of Heritage at Tai Kwun; and Sarah Mui, Co-Founder and Design Director of One Bite Design Studio. Then we were taken on a tour of the exhibition.
“This exhibition is a ‘101’ course in the history and heritage of Tai Kwun, overviewing the vibrant and multifaceted stories of the former police station, magistracy and prison,” Winnie said to the gathering.
“Tai Kwun 101 represents a step forward from the very first show exhibited at Tai Kwun. It symbolizes all our success in the first year of Tai Kwun and heralds a bright future for arts, culture, performance and heritage on these grounds.”
The exhibition is being held at Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts.
Tai Kwun 101 Exhibition Highlights
Tai Kwun 101 puts on display 101 objects that bring to life the colourful past of Hong Kong’s former Central Police Station (CPS). It is part of a series of exhibitions exploring “the lives, moments and artifacts” woven into the compound’s rich history.
There are newspaper clippings, photos, pieces of furniture, signage, personal items such as tools and ID cards – the list goes on.
The exhibition extends beyond the exhibition site itself to other parts of the compound, which is bordered by Hollywood Road, Old Bailey Street, Chancery Lane, and Arbuthnot Road.
A series of events, installations, musical performances, talks, and other activities will be held at Tai Kwun throughout the summer.
After the exhibition concludes, another exhibition will be installed at Tai Kwun.
Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts
Tai Kwun occupies the former Central Police Station (CPS), the Central Magistracy, and Victoria Prison. The three buildings were gazetted as Declared Monuments in 1995. The prison was decommissioned in 2006.
The Hong Kong government partnered with the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 2008 to conserve the buildings and redevelop the site into a new purpose. A cultural theme was agreed upon.
Sometimes referred to as CPS, Tai Kwun is located on Hollywood Road in the heart of one of Hong Kong’s most popular food and beverage districts. There are also many antique shops, art galleries, and clothing boutiques in the neighborhood.
The heritage site is a short walk from Central and Lan Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island.
What’s Inside Tai Kwan
The complex comprises 16 heritage buildings. The most imposing structure is the original Police Headquarters, which faces Hollywood Road.
The colonnaded barracks are situated across from the police headquarters on the opposite side of an open courtyard. The courtyard formerly served as a parade ground.
The oldest structures in the complex are the jail blocks, which were built in 1841.
Only two of the buildings – JC Contemporary and JC Cube – were newly built.
Tai Kwun Facilities
Facilities include an international grade art gallery, an auditorium, and a series of “story-telling spaces,” which are scattered about the complex
Among the most fascinating are the projected moving silhouettes projected on the interior walls of the prison block. They offer a poignant glimpse into the daily lives of prisoners.
In addition to historic and cultural elements, Tai Kwun houses 19 retail shops and 14 food and beverage outlets.
What you won’t find are expensive European designer boutiques, mass-market clothing outlets, or fast-food chains.
This is a refreshing departure from most of Hong Kong other heritage sites.
When and Where
Tai Kwun 101 will run from 25 May through 22 September 2019. The exhibition is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm. It is located in the Duplex Studio at Block 1 and “site-wide” at Tai Kwun.
Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts – 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island.
From the Central MTR Station, walk west along either Des Voeux Road Central or Queen’s Road Central to the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system. The walk takes seven to eight minutes. The escalator provides direct access to Tai Kwun Centre at Hollywood Road and Old Bailey Street. The trips takes five to 10 minutes.