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Books

 

Hong Kong Going Going Gone: Western Victoria (Photographic Series No. 1)

Collection of 87 photographs of old buildings in Western District, with accompanying text, divided into sections on Institutional Buildings (Religious); Institutional Buildings (Secular); Residences; Streets; details of Buildings (Balconies); Details of Buildings (Doors and Gateways); People (Markets and Shops); People (Trades). Most of the buildings photographed have since been demolished for development.

(1980, published by the RASHK)

H.K. $120.00

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Chinese Christians: Elites, Middlemen and the Church in Hong Kong

Reprinted by HKUP in June 2005 http://www.hkupress.org/book/9622096883.ht

A series of essays by Rev. Carl Smith, to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Society.

Contents include: 
Part I: Mission Schools and their Products: A New Type of China Coast Middleman; (1) The Morrison Education Society and the Moulding of its Students; (2) The Formative Years of the Tong Brothers, Pioneers in the Modernization of China's Commerce and Industry; (3) Translators, Compradores, and Government Advisers; (4) Friends and Relatives of Taiping Leaders; (5) Sun Yat-sen's Baptism and Some Christian Connections.


Part II: The Church, Middlemen, and the HK Setting; (6) The Emergence of a Chinese Elite in HK; (7) The English-educated Chinese Elite in c19 HK; (8) The HK Church and c19 Colonial Attitudes; (9) The HK Situation as it Influenced the Protestant Church; (10) The Early HK Church and Traditional Chinese Ideas, with Epilogue and Introduction.  

(1985, jointly published by the RASHK with Oxford University Press, HK) 


Index to the Sessional Papers of Hong Kong, 1879-1982

(1985, Index to the Official Papers "laid before the Legislative Council of Hong Kong")   

H.K. $100.00


 

The Turning of the Tide: Religion in China Today

A series of essays edited by Julian F. Pas, dating mostly from 1985.

Contents: Introduction; Chinese Religion in Transition; Recent Chinese Research Publications on Religious Studies; The Relations Between Religion and Peasant Rebellions in China, a Review of the Interpretations by Chinese Historians; Revival of Religious Practices in Fujian, a Case Study; New Developments Concerning Buddhist and Taoist Monasteries; Symbolic Amulets and Jewelry in Chinese Popular Culture; Revival of Temple Worship and Popular Religious Traditions; A Revival of Confucian Ceremonies in China; The Catholic Church in China; The Protestant Church in China; Folk religion in HK and the NT Today; The Jiao festival in HK and the NT; Western Language Publications on Chinese Religions 1981-1987 (Bibliography); Chinese Language Publications on Chinese Religions, 1977-1987 (Bibliography).  

(1989, jointly published by the RASHK with Oxford University Press, HK) 

Out of print

 


Beyond the Metropolis: Villages in Hong Kong

A collection of essays edited by P.H. Hase and E. Sinn, with 200 photographs of New Territories Villages, to mark the 35th Anniversary of the Society. Contents: The Traditional Background, HK Villages in the 1950s; The Village Landscape; Village festivals; HK's Wai, Defensive Architecture of the NT; Ping Shan, A Great Clan Village; Traditional Village Politics, Lau Shui Heung; Pak Mong, Tai Ho and Ngau Kwu Long, the Three Hamlets of Mui Wo; Sha Lo Tung; Tsang Tai Uk.

(1995, jointly published by the RASHK, with Joint Publishing (HK) Co. Ltd.)

 


In the Heart of the Metropolis: Yaumatei and its People

A collection of essays edited by P.H. Hase with photographs by the members of the Cathay Camera Club, published as a companion  to Beyond the Metropolis: Villages in Hong Kong.  Contents: Nineteenth Century Yaumatei; The Temple Squaer Street; The Yaumatei Fruit Laans; The Yaumatei Typhoon Shelter; Cantonese Opera in Temple Street; Outsiders in Old Yaumatei; Yaumatei and the Yu Lan Festival; Tenements and Mutual Aid Committees; Schools and Schooling in Yaumatei.  

(1999,  jointly published by the RASHK, with Joint Publishing (HK) Co. Ltd.)

 


Sense of Place: Hong Kong West of Pottinger Street

The Publications Committee of the Royal Asiatic Society had been pondering how best to use its archive of 2000 photographs taken between 1974-1978 by volunteers recruited from the RAS and the South China Athletic Association Camera Club. Some of the photographs were published in an earlier RAS book, Hong Kong, Going and Gone, but after that little was done with them, other than holding a small exhibition in the Landmark in 1998. As time went on and thirty years passed, the prescience of the RAS in creating this archive became more apparent as much of the architecture, street life and trades that would have been common in 1974 had all but disappeared by 2007. The moment was judged ripe for a book that would celebrate what was lost – sometimes deservedly, at other times with deep regret – in Hong Kong’s determination to embrace its future and destroy its past.


The survey photos were obviously going to be a significant part of the book but the Publications Committee also wanted to include chapters that would ‘join up the dots’ to consider many of the social issues that affected people’s lives. Thus the second part of the book was born; it contains nine chapters on topics that were chosen because they represent aspects of people’s lives as they intersect with the social and built environment. We have an interesting story to tell as our chosen area was one of the first to be inhabited after the British arrived in 1841. Due to its proximity to the harbour and the central area it was continuously extended westwards, mostly by Hong Kong’s Chinese inhabitants. A great deal of what contributed to making Hong Kong what it is today happened in that space, but it is not an area that contained `the great and the good’ and we believe that to understand Hong Kong it is important that the total ensemble is recognized, including the less significant vernacular architecture and the contributions of ordinary people. 


The chapters cover how the area developed and how plans laid down 150 years ago still affect our lives. There is a fascinating chapter on housing in Sai Ying Pun that painstakingly links the changing form of the housing stock in one 300 square metre block over a period of 50 years with the impact this has had on the lives of the people who lived there. The importance of their spiritual lives to the people and the association between place and gods is highlighted in two chapters. Naturally business, and along with it the accumulation of great wealth, played an enormous role in what made Hong Kong special, and we learn more about the Chinese dominated import-export trades on which this wealth was based. The founding of that great Chinese institution, the Tung Wah Hospital, is delineated, while details of the Western approach to public health and the plague ‘who dunnit’ are featured in a companion chapter. Sexuality makes an appearance in a chapter on brothels and their female managers. The establishment of Hong Kong University is shown to be as much, if not more, to do with Chinese practicality and common sense combined with support from the mainland as with colonial idealism.

 
Indeed, all of human life is here. We see how an immigrant society that was denied equal treatment and access to colonial institutions began to create its own social organizations that provided ladders of opportunity to social recognition, power and respect through institutions like the Man Mo Temple Committee, the Tung Wah Hospital Board and the District Watch Committee. We realize that despite the greater publicity given to the foreign companies, it was Chinese individuals and businesses that were by far the wealthier. And the answer to the question ‘what is Hong Kong’s wealth based on?’ is the same now as it was then – ‘land!’ The assumption that to make the poor work hard you pay them less, while to make the rich work hard you pay them more, typifies all eras in Hong Kong’s existence. And the greed and rapacity of landlords comes shining through, particularly in relation to living conditions. In other words, there is much that will be familiar. A Sense of Place pays homage to what was and is unique, beautiful, typical, quirky and ordinary in the area west of Pottinger Street both in terms of its built environment and its residents. Some of it is still there but much is not; these absences are recaptured in the many images we have included to re-create our own sense of place  

(2010, published by the Joint Publishing (HK) Co. Ltd.)

H.K. $300.00 

(postage within H.K.: HK$30; overseas: HK$125)


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