To learn about the history of Central and Hong Kong, tourists and local residents may visit the Central Market; for a further understanding about Hong Kong’s traditional rural village culture, they can take a trip to the Lai Chi Wo Story Room located in Northeast New Territories, built with the support of Chinachem Group (“the Group”). With“Where Hing Chun Alliance makes its mark in Central. Where Rural and Urban Communities Integrate.” as the opening theme, the Group unveils “A Date with Hing Chun Alliance” exhibition to promote rural culture in Lai Chi Wo – one of Hong Kong’s oldest rural villages built more than 300 years ago – and its nearby villages. Integrating technology, the exhibition will transport visitors from Central to the Hing Chun Alliance villages1 through an immersive five-senses experience of “Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell and Taste” to learn about four living essentials “Clothes, Food, Home and Commute” in the villages, as a way to preserve and promote the culture and economic development in the Hing Chun Alliance area.
Organised by Chinachem Group, curated by the Hong Kong Architecture Centre and supported by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the village heads and representatives of Hing Chun Alliance, and the Lions Club Nature Education Fund, the three-month exhibition will run from now until 28 February 2023 at Legacy Hall, 1/F, Central Market.
Attending the opening ceremony, Donald Choi, Executive Director and CEO, Chinachem Group said, “‘A Date with Hing Chun Alliance’ exhibition, held in this revitalised Grade III historic building, fully reflects the Group's commitment to architecture and to the conservation of intangible cultural heritage, while realising ‘urban-rural integration’. Through a placemaking approach, we are using local assets and potential to create attractive public spaces that foster community development and, hopefully, can resonate emotionally with visitors so that our most cherished traditions and culture can live on. This encapsulates the spirit of our Central Market and Lai Chi Wo Story Room conservation projects.”
Choi continues to say that the exhibition demonstrates the Group’s Triple Bottom Line of People, Prosperity and Planet by educating the public about the culture and daily life in the Hing Chun Alliance, while bringing social and economic benefits to the local village communities. At the same time, the project can strengthen the sense of belonging among the Hong Kong community, inspiring people to work together towards a more livable city and a better future.
Mickey Lai, Acting Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation said: “The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is delighted to learn about an exhibition on Hing Chun Alliance being held at Central Market and would like to thank Chinachem Group for leading this initiative. In 2018, the Department launched the ‘Same Roots, Same Origins’ project in collaboration with geopark communities and villages to showcase their traditions and intangible cultural heritage. The Hing Chun Alliance is a large-scale alliance of seven historic Hakka villages with rich traditions in northeast New Territories. The settlements are worth knowing and exploring due to their stunning landscapes and rich cultural history, and I strongly recommend everyone to visit Hing Chun Alliance villages after touring the exhibition. I believe it will be an unforgettable experience.”
Tony Ip, Chairman, Hong Kong Architecture Centre said: "The Hong Kong Architecture Centre is very pleased to join hands with Chinachem Group to organise ‘A Date with Hing Chun Alliance’ exhibition, bringing remote villages right to our bustling city centre and sharing the traditions of the seven major Hakka villages in the Northeast New Territories with the public. Visitors to the exhibition can experience the four living essentials of ‘Clothes, Food, Home and Commute’ in these Hakka villages, through their five senses of ‘Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, and Taste’. The three-month long exhibition will engage different parties to share their stories through creative, cross-genre presentations. On top of the exhibition itself, there will also be a series of exciting activities including lectures, workshops and staycation in Lai Chi Wo. These are experiences not to be missed.”
With a traditional Hakka summer hat as its emblem, the exhibition will offer visitors a close-up look at authentic local produce like coffee beans, turmeric, rice, ginger, and non-GMO papaya grown in Lai Chi Wo. Visitors can also appreciate Lai Chi Wo’s picturesque scenery across all four seasons through the lens of Jacky Lee, a renowned photographer and champion of National Geographic Photo Contest – Hong Kong Place.
What’s more, during the weekends within the exhibition period, different activities, workshops and lectures will also be organised for the public:
The Chinachem Group-funded Lai Chi Wo Story Room focuses on four themes of Hing Chun Alliance Hakka village life, namely daily lives, wedding rituals, traditional medicine, and Hakka folk songs. By taking visitors back to the glorious days of the past, it helps promote the culture of Hing Chun Alliance to the younger generations. Lai Chi Wo, where the Story Room is located, is one of Hong Kong’s oldest, largest and best-preserved rural settlements.
“A Date with Hing Chung Alliance” exhibition
Date: 30 November 2022 to 28 February 2023 (Open as usual during holidays)
Time: 10:00am to 7:00pm
Venue: Legacy Hall, 1/F, Central Market, 93 Queens Road Central
1：The Hing Chun Alliance is an alliance among seven villages including Lai Chi Wo, one of Hong Kong’s oldest rural villages with more than 300 years’ history, and nearby So Lo Pun, Mui Tze Lam, Kop Tong, Siu Tan, Ngau Shi Wu and Sam A village. Surrounded by lush fung shui wood and mangrove forest, there are more than 200 homes in the village. It is currently one of the largest and best-preserved rural settlements in Hong Kong, presenting the traditional Hakka village culture.