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May 2023
Issue No. 314

Exhibition of Historic Maps from the HKSKH Archives

Exhibition of Historic Maps from the HKSKH Archives: the living contours of Christianity’s spread in China


The Exhibition of historic maps from the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives: Christianity and the Mapping of China on 28th and 29th April at St John’s Cathedral, Li Hall has been successfully completed, thanks to the support of our guests, friends and volunteers. The two-day exhibition attracted over 600 visitors and this was very encouraging. 

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held on the morning of the 28th, and we were honored to have The Most Revd Andrew Chan, Archbishop and Primate of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, as our guest of honor. In his opening address, the Archbishop remarked how this exhibition is something that goes beyond merely celebrating our Province’s 25th anniversary – for from these maps we see the Church’s growth throughout the ages, and how it all connected with Hong Kong. His Grace also thanked the Most Revd Peter Kwong who was present for his leadership during the period when the Diocese of Hong Kong and Macao was transformed into the Province of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. 

The Archbishop also noted that this map exhibition is not just a display of ancient artifacts, but also a symposium of sorts, where we as the moderns can communicate with the cartographers and forefathers of the Church via their understanding of the evolving history of China, Hong Kong, and the Church itself. 


In the welcoming speech of The Revd Prof Philip L. Wickeri, the Provincial Archivist of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives and Adviser to the Archbishop for Theological and Historical Studies expressed his appreciation to two friends of the Archives for the loan of their precious maps. These were the loans of "Parte occidentale China (Western China)" (1690) and a copy of the "Map of the Myriad countries of the world" (1700) by Dr Otto Lam, and the loans of "World Double Hemispheres" (1838) and "Map of the Basel Mission, Canton" by Mr Jonathan Wattis.

Others present at the opening of the exhibition were: Mr Benedict Keith Ip, Office Director of the Diocesan Office of Historical Archives and Patrimony, Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau; Mr Lam Chun Ying, expert on book and document conservation; Mr Jonathan Wattis and his wife; Dr Otto Lam, Mr Kevin Sun Tak Wing, and Ms Noel Ng Man Lai, members of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives and History Advisory Committee; and Ms Wong Lai Ha, who donated her calligraphy for the exhibition. 


A total of 80 items were exhibited, of which 26 are maps and drawings related to the history of Christianity in China: from 17th century Jesuit charts to the 1998 map made for the establishment of the Province of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. Also exhibited were photographs, books, manuscripts, and flags related to the subject.

The opening ceremony was concluded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony by The Most Revd Andrew Chan who announced the starting of the exhibition. Philip L. Wickeri then introduced the exhibits to the guests. The exhibition had two guided tours conducted by Philip L. Wickeri who explained the features of the exhibits and the historical stories behind them. The guests had a better chance to understand the thoughts of the cartographers.


<The above article was published in "Echo" Issue No. 314. Please click here>


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