Maritime Miracle

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is staging a special exhibition entitled Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: The Story of Our City since 1945. It defines Hong Kong’s miraculous rise from the ashes of World War II and the maritime foundation that was vital in remaking the city, in a selection of 25 representative exhibits.

Hong Kong’s pre-war maritime connections facilitated the growth of an enormous manufacturing powerhouse after the war. Containerisation in the 1970s was a key component to continue and build on this success and Hong Kong’s container trade volumes grew exponentially. When Mainland China opened up its economy in 1978, Hong Kong then outsourced much of its manufacturing into the Greater Bay Area whilst retaining its lead in finance and services. Our maritime trade continues to support the growth of the Greater Bay Area, with Hong Kong at its heart.

The exhibition will be in five chronological phases which are the pillars of the story. Each phase represents a significant ‘moment’ of post-war Hong Kong, namely:

  • Regeneration (1945-1948)
  • Back in Business (1949-1970)
  • The High Growth Years (1960s-1980s)
  • Container Rules (1972-Now)
  • The Future (documenting the city’s transformation and looking forward to a sustainable future)

To provide a new immersive experience with art tech, the exhibition will take audiences through an exciting maritime journey, guided by a fictional character named Carmen So (So Ka Man, Carmen). The character will be featured in a series of five mini-movies, produced by an award-winning Hong Kong-based filmmaker, Heiward Mak. Seen through the eyes of Carmen So, as a Hong Kong female in her twenties, the movie’s protagonist conceptualises everyday maritime ties in the exhibition for the audiences.

The exhibition also includes an outdoor display of a historical and iconic dai fei smuggling boat, on loan from the Marine Region of the Hong Kong Police Force. This dai fei was captured during the 1990s and converted to a police training vessel in the ongoing attempts to apprehend smugglers at sea.

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