AT THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY: PICTURES OF THE PAST

29 Sep 2018 - 02 Oct 2018

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will collaborate with Fine Art Asia and Boogie Woogie Photography to present At the Turn of the 20th Century: Pictures of the Past from September 29 to October 2, 2018, an exhibition of photographs by Hungarian naval doctor Dezsó Bozóky (1871–1957). At the Turn of the 20th Century showcases a selection of early photographic images taken by Bozóky in Hong Kong between 1907–1908, juxtaposing them with Chinese furniture from the same period. The photos, from the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asiatic Arts in Budapest, document a firsthand experience in China during the early 20th century, while the furniture is typical of opulent late Qing dynasty culture. The highly decorated renderings of traditional Chinese landscapes and genre scenes—which relate to historical forms of ink painting and poetry—are presented in contrast to the contemporary imagery captured by Bozóky’s camera.​

 While the furniture relates to domestic interiors of the turn of the last century, Bozóky’s images present rare exterior views of the former colonial city and its busy and world-famous Victoria Harbour. In an ever more developed Hong Kong, Bozóky’s beautiful black-and-white and hand-coloured pictures are historical records that allow us to gain insights into the bustling merchant town with its culturally mixed society and lush natural landscape that he encountered and that formed the home of such consumers as those of this elegant and lavishly decorated suite of furniture. Together the photographs and the furniture with its pictorial scenes meticulously inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl represent the broad stylistic variety of this collection of pictures of the past.

 

Exhibition Venue: Booth no. E20-E22, Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong