Happy Valley is a community of its own, with distinct character. It is one of the few neighborhoods in Hong Kong that retains its charm with human scale streets and urban landscape. It is also helped by the conservation of some of the neighborhood’s most interesting architecture. One of these is on the verge of a major study for a conservation project, and another was conserved and given a new lease of life.
Guided by Professor Puay-peng Ho, we will view the architectural and conservation aspects of the Tung Lin Kok Yuen and the F11 Photographic Museum, both buildings dating from the 1930s. Tung Lin Kok Yuen is a Buddhist establishment set up 80 years ago by Clara Cheung, wife of Sir Robert Ho Tung. It was the first Buddhist monastery on Hong Kong island dedicated to teaching the practices of Buddhism. The architecture has a distinctive Chinese flavour in line with some houses and churches built in the 1930s declaring a Chinese identity in a colonial society. The tour starts with a look at the building and the myriad of objects and plaques of historical significance in Tung Lin Kok Yuen. From there, we will walk to the F11 Photographic Museum, an Art Deco house which has undergone many changes in use and ownership. Meticulous conservation work was carried out to restore the building to its original design, while adapting it to the exact requirement of the new use.
The Chairman of Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Professor Lee Chack Fan will kindly welcome us and present an introduction about the monastery. A recipient of the Gold Bauhinia Star, Professor Lee was the former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of HKU and the Director of HKUSPACE, HKU, and the Director of Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole and others.
At the F11 Photographic Museum, Mr. Douglas So, a new Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the HKU will also greet us and share his passion for conservation and photography. Mr. So was the Company Secretary and Executive Director of Charities at the HK Jockey Club. After leaving the HKJC, he founded the F11 Photographic Museum to promote photography and heritage conservation.
Professor Puay-peng Ho is the Director of Centre for Architectural Heritage Research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He serves on the Town Planning Board, the Antiquities Advisory Board and the History Museum Advisory Panel. His research interests and publications are in the areas of Chinese art and architectural history, vernacular architecture, and architectural theory. He is also actively involved in many architecture conservation projects in Hong Kong.