Situating Situation

Hong Kong Modernity and Modernism

Related Staff : Anderson Lee

There has been a growing interest in rediscovering the history and culture of Hong Kong since handover in 1997. Hong Kong has experienced the reawakening of its own history in the past 20 years through a form of post-colonial fascination — from the intangible cultural heritage of herbal tea and the egg waffle to the much debated preservation of Ho Tung garden  and King Yin Lei.

This studio highlights a few key moments that reflect the arrival of so-called “Hong Kong Modernism” through the lens of architecture. In the roaring 50s and 60s, Hong Kong experienced a big push for public housing development (Shek Kip Mei Public Housing) with the British-ruled government. With the sudden increase in population there existed a new demand for entertainment, thus Hong Kong witnessed a blossoming of cultural/infrastructural building types such as the New City Hall in Central(1962) as well as numerous theaters being planned all over the colony.

At the same time, the architecture program at HKU (the only Tertiary Educational provider at the time) was at its infancy, its first graduating class in 1955.

So the question remained: Who was prepared and had the expertise to respond to the increasing demand for housing?

Enlarge Photo: Mak Ching YanEnlarge Photo: Mak Ching YanEnlarge Photo: Hwa Amanda De Ai