(FULL) Talk:“Re-exploring the Opium War of 1841 from 1 Book, 1 Drawing and 1 Medal” with Bassanio Kwok (Conducted in Cantonese)

Date :
Saturday, 3 December 2022
Time :
11:00 - 12:45
Venue :
1/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam
Cost :
Free with registration
Limit :
Enquiries :
Patricia Lee at [email protected] / 2241-5507
Note :
Optional lunch with speaker afterwards on share-cost basis. Attendees are required by the venue, except those exempted, to scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code and comply with the requirement of the Vaccine Pass

The HKU Museum Society is pleased to present a talk “Re-exploring the Opium War of 1841 from 1 Book, 1 Drawing and 1 Medal” with Kwok King Cheung Bassanio.  This talk will be conducted in Cantonese.


The Opium War marked the beginning of modern China.  As the consequence of the Treaty of Nanking, the Manchu Government fell into the abyss of repeated military defeats and hence national humiliations which resulted in its eventual overthrow.  The general explanation of the defeat of the Manchu in the war was due to British warships’ sturdy construction and cannons’ high power.  But the research into the details reveals a lot of surprising findings.  The talk will focus on the books, drawings and medals of the 1840s, with the purpose of re-exploring the critical points of the war through the people, objects and perspectives of that time, which might serve as inspiring lessons for today.



Kwok King Cheung Bassanio is a researcher and a seasoned collector of Chinese Orders and Medals of the late Manchu and early Republican periods, some of which were exhibited in the “Beiyang Warlords: War and Politics” exhibition at the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. A long-standing member of the HKU Museum Society, he has presented talks at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum and the University Museum and Art Gallery, HKU “More about the Orders and Medals of the Beiyang Warlords”, “The Social Physiognomy of China around May Fourth Movement as shown in the Medals and Publications concerning the Governing of Shanxi by ‘Model’ Warlord Yan Xi-shan” and “Dr. Sun Yat-sen and Cheng Bi-guang: Unrest in Guangdong during the Early Republican Period and the Movement for the Protection of the Constitution”.