Striving And Transforming- The History Of Hong Kong Industry

Art and Design Press

2020-07-09 17:04:22


Hong Kong, the financial capital, was once an industrial city. This fact seems long forgotten. Industry played an important role in the evolution of this former fishing village into an international metropolis. New exhibition "the legend of Hong Kong industries," hold in History museum Hong Kong in June. We can see about 1200 groups of Hong Kong's industrial products a wide from bandung BaoZhuChang manufacturing electro-optical gun, to the only camel thermos of hot and cold water bottle factory, to the Great Wall plastics factory manufacturing camera, from on macroscopic depicts the history of over one hundred Hong Kong local industry, also from the micro level tells the story of the course of struggle of the individual entrepreneurs.


In fact, as early as in the mid-19th century, Hong Kong opened its port soon after the emergence of shipbuilding manufacturing industry. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, more and more family workshops appeared in the east of Hong Kong Island, mainly producing daily necessities such as clothing, matches and soap. Later, small and medium-sized enterprises appeared, such as Dacheng Machine Paper Co., LTD., which was set up in 1891, and Kowloon Lung Kee Match Factory, which was set up around 1898. In the 1920s and 1930s, the booming textile industry promoted the rapid development of Hong Kong's light industry. In addition to clothing, shoes, cosmetics, hardware and building materials also emerged one by one. In 1938, the first Hong Kong industrial Exhibition was held, which was very popular, and the local brands have become famous ever since.


After the end of the second world war and before the founding of new China in 1949, the turmoil sent many mainland entrepreneurs from Shanghai to Hong Kong, bringing with them vast amounts of capital, machinery and technology, and writing an important chapter in Hong Kong's manufacturing industry. In the early 1950s, Hong Kong was still in serious shortage of industrial support due to the war, but just as the famous industry of the late Hong Kong was so bad, the early entrepreneurs also tried every means to overcome it, which just reflects the pioneering and enterprising spirit of the Hong Kong people.


The manufacturing industry in Hong Kong is developing in full swing, but until now, the concept of "product-design" has not appeared, and the whole industry is still in the pure stage of "processing and manufacturing". As labor and other costs rose, factories "finally realized that the meager margins of manufacturing were too small to sustain and that design was the best way to add value. Product design education in Hong Kong began around the late 1950s. By the sixties and seventies, the first wave of local product designers had emerged. Their main job at the time was to beautify products and to use design tools to reduce product and associated process costs. Since the products made in Hong Kong were mainly for export at that time, the designers mostly adopted the perspective of foreign consumers.


During Hong Kong's industrial heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, manufacturing accounted for nearly half of Hong Kong's workforce and 30 per cent of its gross domestic product. The exports of garments, clocks, toys and other products are among the best in the world. The standards of "Made in Hong Kong" have also gained international recognition.


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