Tai Kwun 101: Behind the Gates of Hong Kong’s Central Police Station
Why We Recommend it
101 objects used by prisoners, judges, the police force and many more police station stakeholders are displayed in this thematic exhibition that chronicles a variety of stories about work and life in this historic compound over time.
Tai Kwun’s new flagship show is an evolution from the site’s first exhibition 100 Faces of Tai Kwun. Chronicling a variety of stories about work and life in these historic buildings over time, this exhibition showcases “100+1” objects to celebrate the success of the heritage and arts centre’s first year of running. Objects on display include newspaper clippings, photos and signage, personal items such as tools and ID cards, artefacts – all of which define the compound across the years as the site where the police, judiciary, prison and immigration systems in colonial Hong Kong played a part.
The exhibition also encourages visitors to take an experiential journey. Some sections of the compounds have been reconstructed to recreate the former interiors of the heritage site. Oral histories are recorded and shown in videos on-site, while others have been integrated into content across multiple parts of the exhibition. Visitors can also pick up five character handbooks, each showing a different side of Tai Kwun 101 through the perspectives of a police constable, Justice of the Peace, prisoner, prison warder and member of the public.
Various public events, installations and activities are held during the exhibition period, including a recital by the Police Children’s Choir, as well as “Down Memory Lane with the Police” (a historical talk and sharing series with police officers who were involved in tracking down infamous Hong Kong gangster Yip Kai-foon). Another highlight is a series of bookbinding workshops led by local paper artist Because Yeung. The workshop is inspired by the industrial light labour in the early days of former Victoria Prison, which practice remains a vocational training option offered by the Correctional Services to people under its custody.