British photographic history

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First Photographs of Hong Kong exhibit wins award

This exhibition which was held in Hong Kong, and mentioned in a BPH post here, has been honored with the prestigious Bronze A' Design Award in Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category. The Bronze A' Design Award is a prestigious award given to top 10% percentile designs that has achieved an exemplary level of in design. The designs are judged by a panel of three different jury which is composed of Academic, Professional and Focus Group Members.

The exhibition showcased treasured photo collections of Hong Kong in the 19th Century loaned from museums in Paris and London, including the first published stereo photograph of Hong Kong landscape by P. Rossier and a series of exceptional panoramic views of Hong Kong and its harbor, including two beautiful ones dated March 1860 by the famous war photographer, F. Beato.


In the old days, the Central District of Hong Kong was called “Victoria City” governed by the British government and thus full of Victorian colonial architectures, among which the exhibition site is a typical representative. Therefore, the theme of the design, developed upon the compound of ‘camera’ and ‘colonial structures’, intends to deliver a closely-intertwined retrospection of both Hong Kong photography and architecture.

The focal point of the exhibition was the earliest photo of Hong Kong dated 1858 according to authentic records. It was arranged on a display stage which is designed as an indoor rotunda, whereas the other exhibits were showcased on many white, house-shaped display stands that imitate Victorian colonial structures in the past. With all these design details, the exhibition hall displayed historical photos of Hong Kong as well as presented an epitome of “Victoria City”.

Outside the exhibition hall, a series of flashlight indicator models were set as signage guiding to the entrance where a giant white camera model awaits. Standing in front of it, visitors can see the superimposing views of the black and white photo of early Hong Kong shown on the camera and the present exterior of the Compound buildings. Such setting carries the implied connection between the concepts that visitors view the old Hong Kong through the giant camera and that they discover the history of Hong Kong photography through this exhibition.


More details of the award, including images, can be found here.

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