Ghost of Hong Kong’s history get a modern makeover

World July 03, 2018 10:05

By The Nation

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After years of restoration and rehabilitation, Tai Kwun is set to open to become Hong Kong’s new heritage destination.  The compound houses one of the oldest buildings on the site, the Barrack Block, was built between 1862 and 1864, when refugees came spilling into Hong Kong from war-torn Mainland China.



With the colony’s population rapidly increasing, law and order challenges led to the construction of the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison, which have been beautifully refurbished. 

Completed in 1919, the Police Headquarters Block is one of the most impressive heritage buildings in Tai Kwun. Forming the public face of the complex, the north-side facade is a Neo-Classical revival while the south side features Classicist design. The building now houses a Heritage storytelling space, a police service centre, shops and restaurants.

One of the two major outdoor spaces at Tai Kwun, the Prison Yard was used as a space for prisoners to exercise, and now hosts performances and cultural programmes.

To add even more diversity and dimension, an art gallery space and auditorium now complement the impressive early 20th-century buildings. With 16 heritage buildings and several outdoor spaces, it is the perfect place for artists and art lovers to seek out historical markers, rich architecture, contemporary art, performing arts, and lifestyle experiences. 

The “100 Faces of Tai Kwun” exhibition 

Visitors are immersed in 100 amazing stories, collected from 100 “kaifongs” (local neighbours) and friends. Their stories, through illustrations, voice stories and more, reveal different interesting facets of Tai Kwun, which represent the heart and soul of this place. 

Free animation movie every Sunday

Tai Kwun presents "Sunday Movie Series" with free film screenings every Sunday in the splendour of the semi-outdoor Laundry Steps. In collaboration with the Hong Kong International Film Festival, feature films and shorts have been carefully selected for their quality and enjoyment by all. 

Selected tea at LockCha Tea House

This teahouse wishes happiness, enjoyment and fortune to all its customers. Their selection of teas comes from carefully chosen farms, with the aim of helping tea growers to conserve, develop and produce authentic good quality tea. 

Lively cookie-baking performance which serves freshly-baked cookies at the end of the show, ‘the Spectacle of Space Consumption’

Special performances based on City Cookie, first staged in 2008 in Sao Paulo, are being staged for the first time in Hong Kong, in collaboration with HKAPA dancers and choreographers. At the JC Contemporary art gallery, freshly baked cookies are baked in a mesmerising 30-minute performance and then served to visitors. Uniquely designed aprons bearing the Hong Kong photo image of the sky that the cookie is cut from is worn by the dancers.

Live music every first Saturday of the month

Lovers of indie music are invited to listen to musical works from local and international musicians on the first Saturday afternoon of every month. Whether you enjoy classical music, pop or the truly “out there”, your musical horizons can be expanded. 

Contemporary Cantonese cuisine at Madame Fu

Check out Madame Fu, a restaurant with lounges, bars and private dining, occupying the top floor of the beautifully restored Barracks Block. It brings back the experience and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s colonial past and the European Grand Cafes in Paris. Enjoy Cantonese cuisine, signature dishes from Northern provinces, dim sum and more. Afternoon teas are delightful too in this beautiful setting. 

Keep updated at www.DiscoverHongKong.com/eng/see-do/culture-heritage/historical-sites/colonial/tai-kwun.jsp