The World On Paper: Ancient Chinese Maps On Display

Why We Recommend it

Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s new exhibition The World on Paper features rare ancient maps, charts and books revealing how China developed its perspective of the world.


Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s new exhibition The World on Paper: From Square to Sphericity uses ancient maps, charts and texts to explore how China defined its own place in the world.

The World on Paper sheds light on the evolution of Chinese navigation and cartography, explores the changes in China’s world view and scientific knowledge, and dives into the cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Exhibits include around 80 rare maps and charts dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), along with 50 books from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and Republican era (1912-1949), as well as many tools and instruments used for map making and navigation. Some of the exhibits are on display to the public for the first time.

A highlight of the exhibition is a beautiful chart which is thought to represent the sixth voyage of the Chinese fleet of imperial treasure junks, commanded by Muslim admiral Zheng He. It was one of several diplomatic expeditions he led from Nanjing in China, to the coast of east Africa, between 1405 and 1433 and the chart was compiled some 200 years after the voyage was completed.

From now until 24 February 2020, HKMM is also giving out an A5 souvenir folder*, which features the two iconic maps, Zheng He hanghai tu (Zheng He Navigation Chart) and the Map of China, to visitors of the museum.
*A5 folders are given on first-come, first-served basis while stock lasts


When: 18 Dec 2019 - 24 Feb 2020 Where: Hong Kong Maritime Museum – 11 Man Kwong Street – Central