Hong Kong locals experience their ancestry
Hong Kong is an incredibly future-oriented city – one that tends to neglect its extremely rich and significant heritage. The essence of Hong Kong’s Heritage Discovery Centre is found in its title: the project is all about exploration. A venture by the Antiquities and Monuments Office, the centre educates visitors about the evolution of the city and its citizens. The task was twofold: create a tourist attraction as well as an inspiring interactive educational centre. Instead of presenting visitors with information that explains what life was like, the intimate project enables them to experience their ancestry.
Windows to the past
Discovery – not simply storytelling – became the red thread. To make Hong Kong’s 6,000 years of history more digestible, content is divided into six focused story rooms, each reflecting the life and culture of the nation’s people throughout different periods of Chinese history. Locals might, for instance, meet their predecessors from the Ming Dynasty – a window into the past through the first people to whom they’re connected. The result is a deeply personal exploration of Cantonese culture.
Understanding the future by understanding the past
Each story room examines a historical theme – from cooking and eating to architecture – with the aid of interactive elements. Exhibition-goers can digitally develop their own Ming porcelain, for example, while historical footage and documentaries are revealed at designated cinema stops. Once they’ve been inspired by ancestral discoveries, visitors can even physically dive into the archives in the Central Archaeological Repository – a room filled with closets and drawers – to dig deeper into their personal history.
Aimed at students, the Archaeological Activity Room re-creates an archaeological dig. After familiarizing themselves with the equipment and steps involved – including making a grid to identify where discoveries came from during the process – students can unearth replicas. By inspiring pupils in an interactive way, they can profoundly engage with the content – and will also perhaps see such work forming part of their future.
years of history
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