1920年代的香港形象
Images of Hong Kong in the 1920s

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This real photograph postcard shows the City of Victoria, Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour in the early 1920s, as viewed from Kowloon Peninsula.

 

在這張真實照片明信片所見的,是從九龍半島眺望1920年代的維多利亞城、山頂及維多利亞港。

Victoria City, Hong Kong | 1925 | Brewer & Co.; Brewer & Co. (Hong Kong) | postcard | photograph paper | 14.0 x 8.9cm

 

香港維多利亞城 | 1925年 | Brewer & Co.;Brewer & Co.(香港) | 明信片 | 相紙 | 14.0 x 8.9釐米

By the 1920s, Hong Kong had been colonised by Britain for 80 years and had experienced many changes. The City of Victoria, the political and economic centre, was fairly developed and of a decent size. The colony continued to be an important trading post between Asia and Europe. Hong Kong had also modernised and industrialised by the 1920s and played an important role in the economy of southern China. The city attracted investors and visitors, as well as dissidents and other rebels.

Nevertheless, Hong Kong was unknown to most British visitors to Wembley Park. Though some promotional materials and souvenirs from the British Empire Exhibition used stereotypical images of ancient China to represent Hong Kong, in general, the Hong Kong Section provided visitors and the British media with new impressions of the city, among them the development of British and Chinese-owned manufacturing industries, and the emergence of a Chinese elite.

In the exhibition halls Hong Kong was described as a modern industrial city and trade centre, with a strong contribution from British merchants. Hong Kong was presented as the Empire’s largest ship-building colony. Contrasting Hong Kong’s pre-colonial history and the changes after the introduction of British business culture, Hong Kong’s “progress” was presented as an achievement of British colonisation. This representation of “progress” is similar to other colonial sections.

及至1920年代,香港已被英國殖民了80年,亦經歷了許多轉變。政治及經濟中心維多利亞城已發展得頗具規模。這個殖民地繼續是亞洲與歐洲之間重要的貿易港。另外,香港在1920年代亦已現代化及工業化,並對華南的經濟擁有重要的地位,因此吸引了投資者、遊客,以及異見人士及其他反抗者。

不過對於溫布萊公園的大部份英國遊客來說,香港可以說是寂寂無名。整體而言,儘管英京賽會部份宣傳物品及紀念品以刻板的古代中國形象來展述香港,但香港展區依然向遊客及英國傳媒展示了這座城巿的新形象,包括英商及華商擁有的製造業,以及華人精英的冒起。

The Exhibition strengthened the identity of Hong Kong’s British community but it had minimal impact on the city’s Chinese population (including some Eurasians). The Chinese exhibitors did not regard it as a showcase of British colonialism. They were much more concerned about threats to their interests amid the rise of communism in Hong Kong. As for potential friction arising from the Exhibition, the involvements of Chinese elites helped avoided discontent among the local Chinese community. Two of its notable leaders, Sir Chow Shouson and Sir Robert Hotung, were appointed Honorary Associate Commissioners of the Hong Kong Section. At Wembley Park itself, the Chinese exhibitors were more concerned with how business at their shops was faring.

在展覽廳內,香港被形容為現代化的工業城巿及貿易中心,當中英商的貢獻良多。香港亦被展示為帝國內造船業最龐大的殖民地。將香港成為殖民地之前的歷史,以及自英國的商業文化湧入後的轉變作出對比,香港的「進步」被展述為英國殖民主義的成就。這種表述「進步」的方式跟其他殖民地展區相似。

這場博覽會強化了香港的英國人社群的身份,但對城內的華人(包括部份歐亞混血兒)的影響則有限。華人參展商並沒有將博覽會視為英國帝國主義的展覽廳。他們更關心的,是剛在香港出現的共產主義所帶來的危機。為避免英京賽會可能帶來的磨擦,華人精英的參與能協助疏導本地華人社群的不滿。當中兩位著名的華人領袖——周壽臣爵士及何東爵士被委任為香港展區榮譽副專員。至於在溫布萊公園內,華人參展商則較為關心他們店舖的生意。

The design of the Hong Kong Pavilion highlighted the colony’s links to Chinese history and culture. While it cut a striking figure at Wembley Park, the pavilion looked little different to Chinese pavilions at other early exhibitions. It did not convey Hong Kong’s particular status, i.e. a city between Britain and China in which a distinctive culture and identity had developed. The Chinese Street, sometimes also referred as the Hong Kong Street, reproduced the colony’s busy commercial ambiance. It was this that probably represented the Hong Kong of the day most accurately.

另一方面,香港館的設計強調了這座殖民地與中國歷史及文化的關係。儘管在溫布萊公園內引人注目,但香港館的設計與其他早期博覽會的中華館的外觀並沒有太大分別,並未能傳達香港的獨特地位——一座在英國及中國之間、並已發展出獨特的文化及身份的城巿,而「中華街」(有時亦被稱為「香港街」)複製了香港一條繁忙的街道的商業氣氛,大概最能夠準確表述當時的香港。

對參與者有所偏差的表述
Inaccurate Representation of participants

The organiser of the British Empire Exhibition intended to “include” China to Wembely Park through the Hong Kong Section.[1] Rather than presenting Hong Kong as a distinctive modern city in the Far East, the organiser focused on Hong Kong’s connection with traditional Chinese culture. Some souvenir postcards inaccurately presented the Hong Kong Section with the stereotypical images of ancient China.

[1] Bickers, R.A. (1999). Britain in China: Community, Culture and Colonialism, 1900-1949. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press.

英京賽會的主辦單位企圖通過香港展區,將中國「納入」溫布萊公園。[1] 主辦單位較為注重香港與中國傳統文化的聯繫,而不是將香港呈現為遠東的一座獨特的現代化都巿。有部份紀念品明信片錯誤地以刻板的古代中國形象描繪香港展區。

These illustrated postcards also intended to visually create sharp constrast between Europe/ Britain and China/ Hong Kong.

這些插圖明信片亦企圖通過影像,對比歐洲/英國與中國/香港。

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An illustrated postcard of the Chinese Street looking east | c.1924-1925 | Charles E. Flowers; Raphael Tuck & Sons (unknown) | postcard | paper | 14.0 x 8.9cm

中華街內往東面望的插畫明信片 | 約1924至1925年 | Charles E. Flowers ;拉斐爾塔克父子公司(未明) | 明信片 | 紙張 | 14.0 x 8.9釐米

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An illustrated postcard of the Chinese Street looking east | 1924 | unknown; The Photochrom Co. Ltd. (London& Tunbridge Wells ) | postcard | paper | 14.0 x 8.9cm

 

中華街內往東面望的插畫明信片 | 1924年 | 未明;The Photochrom Co. Ltd.(倫敦、唐橋井) | 明信片 | 紙張 | 14.0 x 8.9釐米

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An illustrated postcard of the Chinese Street looking west | 1924 | unknown; Fleetway Press Ltd. (London) | postcard | paper | 14.0 x 8.9cm

中華街內往西面望的插畫明信片 | 1924年 | 未明;艦隊出版社公司(倫敦) | 明信片 | 紙張 | 14.0 x 8.9釐米

Some Chinese participants were depicted wearing knee-length tunics with wide sleeves. This traditional Chinese clothing style was no longer widespread in Hong Kong in the 1920s.

有部份華人參加者被描繪為身穿寛袖及膝長袍,但這種傳統中國服飾在1920年代的香港已不再流行。

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The images of the European visitors contrast sharply with the Chinese Restaurant as background.

歐洲遊客的身影與中華酒樓形成對比。

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One of the Chinese participants (right) holds a red Chinese-style oil-paper umbrella, providing a sharp contrast with the lady in a short-sleeved long dress holding a white umbrella (left).

其中一名華人參加者(右)手執紅色中式油傘,與那位身穿短袖長裙、手持白色雨傘的女士(左)形成強烈對比。