150 years of HSBC in Hong Kong celebrated in exhibition

Artefacts from bank's archives illustrate how Hong Kong helped it grow, and also tell the stories of the people who made the city great

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 August, 2015, 6:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 September, 2015, 12:02pm

“Made in Hong Kong: Our City, Our Stories” is an exhibition jointly held by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and HSBC to celebrate the bank’s 150th anniversary this year.

Richard Wesley,  the museum’s director, explains the museum was approached by HSBC and invited to look in the bank’s archives in Hong Kong and London to create an accessible show that demonstrated its close relationship with Hong Kong.

“We came up with the concept of the contribution Hong Kong people have made, and [how] they in turn have helped the bank grow. Hong Kong is not a city of natural resources, and it is a port with links to China,” he says.

The exhibition focuses on trade and commerce, as well as the talented people who have made Hong Kong what it is, from science and technology to arts and business. There is also a look at how the city has evolved through its multicultural population, the way that changing perceptions of foods such as shark’s fin have affected the local diet, and a tribute to the local film industry.

In addition, students from Lingnan University  were recruited to conduct video interviews with Hong Kong residents  of  more than 30 nationalities, asking them about what events in the city shaped their lives, such as the 1967 riots, Sars in 2003 or the Occupy movement last year.

Wesley also shows a section of the exhibition about the wealthy people who like to cultivate themselves through collecting Chinese antiques. On display are items ranging from an intricate wooden screen to snuff bottles and jade  pieces, accompanied  by video interviews with each collector explaining their expensive hobbies.

“We want to make people think about the city’s past and future, and how it was largely underwritten by commerce. We hope people will leave the exhibition with a positive view of Hong Kong.”

 Wesley says 100,000  people are expected to visit the show before it end on September 4. Visit hkmaritimemuseum.org for more details.