Hong Kong Heritage Museum launches exhibition on Hong Kong film arts and costumes (with photos)


     Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Hong Kong Film Arts Association, the “Out of Thin Air: Hong Kong Film Arts & Costumes Exhibition” will be staged from tomorrow (May 3) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (HKHM). The exhibition, one of the programmes of the Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival 2023, is the first comprehensive presentation of Hong Kong film arts and costume designs which aims to document the development of film arts in Hong Kong. Through the display of iconic costumes, props, set designs, drawing manuscripts, paraphernalia, videos and reconstructed scenes of workshops, the exhibition takes visitors into the world behind the scenes for delving into the establishment of the Hong Kong film arts profession, and learning about the nature of the Hong Kong film culture, and the highly adaptable professionalism and creative inclusiveness of film industry practitioners.
     Addressing at the opening ceremony today (May 2), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Vincent Liu, said that this is the first comprehensive exhibition introducing Hong Kong film arts and costume designs where visitors can understand the achievements made by Hong Kong films. With the support of elite teams from various units of art directors, costumes, props and set production, the film industry can flourish.
     Other officiating guests today included the Chairperson of the History Sub-committee of the Museum Advisory Committee, Professor Joshua Mok; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Arts Association (HKFAA), Mr Man Lim-chung; the Vice Chairlady of the HKFAA, Ms Tina Liu; and the Museum Director of the HKHM, Mr Brian Lam. The four curators of the exhibition, Mr Man, Ms Liu, HKFAA committee member Ms Jean Tsoi and renowned costume director Ms Edith Cheung, also shared stories during the preparation of the exhibition at the event.
     Films are a major part of Hong Kong’s popular culture. Hong Kong films owe their success to the entire cast and crews’ contributions, in which art and costume directors play an indispensable role. They transform written texts into exquisite and lifelike physical sets, props and costumes that match the plot and characters in the screenplay, shaping the worldview of films. The exhibition, involving more than three years of research and contributions from over 200 film companies and practitioners, is the first of its kind in Hong Kong to comprehensively showcase film arts and costumes of the movie industry.
     Highlight exhibits including the valuable collection of costumes and props, which are on display in this exhibition for the very first time, are Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li’s emperor and empress court robes in “Curse of the Golden Flower” (2006); Linda Lin’s qipao in “Love Without End” (1961); Maggie Cheung’s red period costume in “Hero” (2002); Cora Miao’s green plastic raincoat in “Love in a Fallen City” (1984); Brigitte Lin’s smuggler lady costume in “Chungking Express” (1994); Karen Mok’s Goddess Asura costume in “East Meets West” (2011); and Richard Ng’s Chinese vampire costume in “Rigor Mortis” (2013). Exhibits related to props include a design drawing album of the Shaw Brothers Studio; a vampire hunter sword in “The Twins Effect” (2003); a special prop underwater horse in “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon” (2013); 300 nursery rhymes in “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” (2013); and a Chinese luopan in “Rigor Mortis”. The organiser has selected clips in over 100 Hong Kong films and produced a video, “Highlights of Hong Kong Film and Costume Design”, which will be shown in the gallery to showcase the outstanding works of film art and costumes in Hong Kong over the years.
     To tie in with the exhibition, a series of talks and workshops will be organised by the HKHM and the HKFAA. In addition, an oral history project, “The Architects of Dreams”, which is a written documentation of 60 interviews of Hong Kong film arts and costume practitioners, will be progressively uploaded to the museum website for browsing.
     The exhibition, which will run from May 3 to September 4 at the HKHM (1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin), is jointly presented by the LCSD and the HKFAA, and jointly organised by the HKHM and the HKFAA. For details of the exhibition, please visit hk.heritage.museum/en_US/web/hm/exhibitions/data/exid275.html, or call 2180 8188 for enquiries.
     The first Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival organised by the LCSD aims to offer an array of programmes, from pop concerts and performances to thematic exhibitions, film screenings, outdoor and outreach activities showcasing Hong Kong’s unique cultural creativity and vibrancy. For more information on other fascinating programmes of the Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival, please visit www.pcf.gov.hk/en.