Wednesdays in Hong Kong are free admission days to the public museums and art galleries. My sister and I are big into museums. So our last Wednesday in Hong Kong was a perfect opportunity to hit up a couple of museums. The first on the list was the Hong Kong Cultural Museum in Sha Tin.
Along the shores of the Shing Mun River, you can find the HK Cultural Museum about a 10 minute walk away from Sha Tin MTR station. We had to walk through the mall to reach the river and then walk along the river to the museum.
Inside, we were greeted by a giant Bruce Lee statue doing a side kick into the sky. I know a lot of people are Bruce Lee fans, but I’ve never really gotten into his films. I’ve visited his grave in Seattle as part of a bus tour, but his legend doesn’t have that magnetic draw on me. So my apologies to any die-hard Bruce Lee fans, but I didn’t visit the exhibit dedicated to his Kung Fu, art and life. However, there were plenty of primary school kids that share the Bruce Lee fervour.
To be honest, I was more interested in the more traditional Chinese woodblock prints exhibit. Woodblock prints have been in Chinese culture since the Tang Dynasty and there were a variety of prints depicting everyday family life, joyous occasions, and the Chinese gods.
I probably could have spent a whole day in the exhibit just reading everything, but I could only do the quick run around and scratch the surface. However, that surface is really a colourful and pleasing one to the eye. The woodblocks themselves are intricately carved and offer a glimpse into the skill and craftsmanship that goes into this kind of art.
It’s amazing the texture that you can see on some of these prints. The fuzzy balls on the door gods’ clothing even shows up as truly fuzzy. Truly, I could have stayed at stared at all the little details in some of the prints. They are truly gorgeous.
The other exhibit that my sister really wanted to see is the Eddie Lau fashion exhibit. My sister is quite a bit older than I am and grew up in a golden era of CantoPop (Cantonese Popular Music). The late Anita Mui is one of those famous CantoPop legends of the 1980’s. Much of this Eddie Lau exhibit was dedicated to fashion trotted on the stage of Anita Mui’s extravagant concerts.
Maybe extravagant is an understatement. Almost every piece of clothing was designed to be more than extravagant. The 1980’s were definitely a golden time in Hong Kong – both economically and socially. The flare that accompanied such times is definitely manifested in the fashion.
The 1980’s was also a time that Hong Kong borrowed a lot of culture from other countries, especially Japan. The exquisite Japanese styled kimono for Anita Mui is the showpiece of the collection for me. It’s simply elegant and royal even on a mannequin. Imagine the late Anita Mui wearing it in concert. It must have gotten the fans whistling.
Those were the top two exhibits for my sister and I. There were other exhibits that we quickly visited. The permanent collections have your standard fare of historic and archaeological artifacts. Those are interesting as well. However, the temporary exhibits, this time around, were definitely the stars of the museum.