The Tung Lin Kok Yuen was founded by Clara Ho Tung, the wife of Sir Robert Ho Tung in 1935. Built in the ‘Chinese Renaissance’ style in vogue in the early Republican period, it is a gem in local architecture hidden in the midst of the bustling city. What made the monastery more unusual is the good collection of wooden plaques given by many a celebrated Chinese dignitaries active in the early part of the twentieth century, including Li Yuanhong (黎元洪), Zhang Xueliang (張學良), Kang Yuwei (康有為) and Wu Hanmin (胡漢民) who were all friends of Sir Robert Ho Tung, a wealthy and influential merchant in Hong Kong who was also interested in the politics in China. The wooden Buddhist sculptures in the monastery were commissioned in the 1930s and represent some of the best wood carvings by top Ningbo craftsmen rarely found in other Buddhist temples in Hong Kong.
We are privileged to have as our resource person, Dr. Joseph Ting. He majored in Chinese Literature and Chinese History from HKU and graduated with a BA degree in 1974. He was conferred an MPhil in 1979 and a PhD in 1989, also from HKU. Dr. Ting joined the Hong Kong Museum of Art as an Assistant Curator in 1979 and was appointed Chief Curator of the HK Museum of History in 1995. He retired in 2007 after serving for 28 years. He is currently an Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of Chinese at The University of Hong Kong, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He is Honorary Advisor to many art and cultural institutions, including the University Museum and Art Gallery in HKU, the HK Museum of Art, the HK Museum of History, the Shenzhen Museum and Guangdong Provincial Museum. He is also a Member of the Antiquities Advisory Board, the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust and the Education Bureau of Hong Kong, an Honorary Fellow of the HKU and Hong Kong Institute of Education, and was an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies.