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New exhibition symbolises work and life at historic Hong Kong Central Police Station compound
Simulation scene of The Court Room at Central Magistracy. Installation view of Tai Kwun 101, Tai Kwun, 25 May - 22 Sept, 2019.

HONG KONG.- Tai Kwun — Centre for Heritage and Arts today opened a new flagship exhibition: Tai Kwun 101 at Duplex Studio at Block 01 and site-wide at Tai Kwun. Showcasing 101 objects – each symbolising work and life at the historic Central Police Station compound throughout the years – Tai Kwun 101 invites visitors across generations to connect with rarely seen insider stories of the police, judiciary, prison and immigration systems in Hong Kong.

Tai Kwun 101 is curated by the Tai Kwun Heritage Department and launches on 25 May 2019; forming an important part of Tai Kwun’s first anniversary celebrations this summer. The exhibition, designed by One Bite Design Studio, also coincides with the 175th anniversary of the Hong Kong Police Force in 2019, with Tai Kwun having been the very first official headquarters for the Force.

Winnie Yeung, Head of Heritage, Tai Kwun said, “This exhibition is a ‘101’ course in the history and heritage of Tai Kwun, overviewing the vibrant and multifaceted stories of the former police station, magistracy and prison. Tai Kwun 101 represents a step forward from the very first show exhibited at Tai Kwun. It symbolises all our success in the first year of Tai Kwun and heralds a bright future for arts, culture, performance and heritage on these grounds.”

An evolution in object-based storytelling
Tai Kwun 101 is an evolution from Tai Kwun’s very first show 100 Faces of Tai Kwun. Showcasing “100+1” objects, Tai Kwun 101 introduces the next level of historical exploration into the lives, moments and artefacts which are inextricably woven into the rich tapestry of Tai Kwun. These include both typical and atypical items – defining the compound across the years and at times subverting visitors’ expectations to tell unexpected tales of time, people and place.

Objects on display for Tai Kwun 101 will take a number of distinct forms, including newspaper clippings, photos and signage; personal items such as tools and ID cards; artefacts; and lots more – making Tai Kwun 101 a unique, unprecedented opportunity to see all of these pieces in one exhibition.

Experiencing and interacting with heritage
An exhibition of artefacts as well as interactions, Tai Kwun 101 welcomes visitors to take an experiential journey through the heritage of the compound. Various objects and demonstrations of Tai Kwun 101 will span across the indoor and outdoor areas of Tai Kwun, introducing ambient sounds and stylised, interactive scenes to contribute to the all-encompassing voyage into Tai Kwun’s history.

Oral histories form a major part of the Tai Kwun 101 experience. Some of these stories are recorded and shown in videos on-site, while others have been integrated into content across multiple parts of the exhibition. Visitors can also step into a personal experience of heritage by picking up a character handbook on LG1. There are five available, each one showing a different side of Tai Kwun 101 through the eyes of a police constable, Justice of the Peace, prisoner, prison warder and member of the public.

A few highlighted objects coming to Tai Kwun 101 include:

• A sculpted reinterpretation of a tiger’s head, based on the real animal which was killed by police in the New Territories in 1915. (Duplex Studio, Block 01)

• A police detective’s badge which dates back to the 1920s/30s, when the detective squad was reorganised to become the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). (Duplex Studio, Block 01)

• A water cart used by early firefighting forces in Hong Kong. (Duplex Studio, Block 01)

• A painted sign calling for “Silence” on the wall of Central Magistracy Courtroom No 1, which once served as a reminder to members of the public who came to observe hearings. (Block 09; replica at Duplex Studio, Block 01)

• A Servis Recorder used by officers to record the time and frequency of their night-time patrols around former Victoria Prison. (Duplex Studio, Block 01)

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