Hong Kong : China, European And Modernism Essay

Hong Kong : China, European And Modernism Essay

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Hong Kong is a unique metropolitan in the respect that it is shaped by three major influences: Chinese, European and modernism. Its entanglement with these influences has played a major role in cultivating its identity, a quality both complex and rich that it becomes difficult to characterize. However, it is clear that its resiliency has helped Hong Kong become the world city that it is today. Over many years, Hong Kong has made many strides in defining its identity, as evidence of this can be seen from the city’s architecture. A city in constant flux, Hong Kong has seen many of its buildings come and go. However, the designs of these structures have always accurately represented the Hong Kong identity, making Hong Kong a paradigmatic example of an iterative city.
A significant aspect of Hong Kong lies in its location. The literal translation of its name, “fragrant harbor,” is fitting given its proximity to the South China Sea. This helped the region become a popular trading and fishing port during its years under Imperial China and beyond, marking the beginnings of Hong Kong as a trade center. Around the 13th century, migrants from mainland China settled in the region and created village communities that were based on kinship, as the people who occupied these villages shared family names and were often able to trace their ancestry to a common person. Some of the earliest forms of architecture that still exist today in Hong Kong are attributed to these migrant villagers. For protection from rival clans and pirates, they would construct walls from brick, stone or earth around their villages. The Kat Hing Wai Walled village in particular boasts a 16-foot wall that is 18 feet thick and forms a rectangular shape around its community m...

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...brated the works of the Greeks were infused with the Chinese practicality reminiscent of the humble beginnings of the old village communities during precolonial Hong Kong. Because of this, the Central Police Station Compound is significant not only because it was a “consolidation of enforcement, jurisdiction, and imprisonment…[that] highlights the history of law and order in Hong Kong” (CUHK), but also that it was a clear representation of the changing attitudes of Hong Kong. This fusion of both European and Chinese architectural styles is representative of the evolution of Hong Kong identity at the time. Hong Kongers were able to accept ideas from the two cultures to develop their own. One interesting example was the adoption of afternoon tea, which introduced the idea of serving tea with milk and sugar, rather than serving tea plain as was customary to the Chinese.

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