We all have a fascination with seeing the world in miniature. Whether for entertainment or for practical purposes, recreating buildings, streetscapes, and entire neighbourhoods creates fascinating perspectives beyond what the naked eye can see. And these fresh viewpoints inform and inspire, giving vital insights to interrelationships, history, connectivity, and scale.
So when Chinachem Group and the Urban Renewal Authority collaborated to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, it seemed fitting to assemble the largest ever collection of realistic models of Hong Kong together, and present them to the public in the thriving and recently revitalised heritage venue of Central Market.
Carmen Poon, president of the Joyful Miniature Association, creators of the artworks on show, described how the exhibition relates to the anniversary.
“The 25th anniversary of HKSAR is a very important year for us Hong Kong people, we are at the midway point of this handover. So, on one hand through these models we are looking at the past and on the other hand we’re looking at the future.”
Focusing on the exhibition’s centrepiece, a 1:75 on scale model depicting the Victoria Harbourfront from Wan Chai to Central, she adds, “this is the symbol of Hong Kong, it’s the soul of the Hong Kong people, and this model gives happiness to all who see it.”
Commenting on the decision to present the exhibition at the newly opened Central Market, Chinachem CEO Donald Choi noted, “This has been a community centre since the very establishment of Hong Kong in the 1840s. So, it’s very appropriate to host this event in Central Market to demonstrate that it has re-established itself as the centre of community activities, and has become a playground for all.”
Opened by outgoing HK Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, the models in the exhibition have been designed and crafted by a group of local artists and craftsmen. Utilising limited amounts of technology in their planning and conception, the 100 models are a product of many thousands of hours of detailed handcraft and concentration. They capture a series of evocative vignettes of daily life in Hong Kong, from the lazy turn of the ceiling fans in a Cha Chaan Teng, to the energetic endeavours of dragon boaters being cheered by crowds on the shore, we see market stalls, newspaper sellers, the daily commute, and the ribaldry and revelry of night-time heart of the city, Lan Kwai Fong.
Past Present Future runs until July 16th, at Central Market, 93 Queens Road Central, Hong Kong.