Kwong Sang Hong Ltd – first HK cosmetics brand – vision of angels in Central?
HF: The “Two Girls” of Kwong Sang Hong Limited, founded in 1898 [?] by Mr. Fon Fook Tien, was the first cosmetics brand in Hong Kong.
The brand started promoting its products using printed materials as early as the 1920s. Kwan Wai-nung, the renowned “Master of Calendar Posters”, was commissioned to draw calendar posters which were well received by the customers (1)
Kwong Sang Hong Ltd, the cosmetics company, founded in 1905, maintained departments specializing in the design and manufacture of their distinctive glass bottles and a lithographic printing department for pamphlets, labels, and advertising posters. In the early days Kwong Sang Hong Ltd.’s posters were drawn by Kwan Wai Nung and printed by his Asiatic Lithographic Printing Press Ltd; later versions were printed by China Can Co, (HK) Ltd, a Shanghai firm that established a printed can and tin toy factory in Hong Kong in 1934. (2)
…Hong Kong cosmetic company Kwong Sang Hong Ltd founded in 1905. It was said that the “two girls” motif was chosen by the firm’s founder, Fung Fok Tin, after he had seena vision of two angels in Central District…Kwan Wai Nung [was] a great grandson of the ‘China Trade’ painter Lamqua, Kwan Chuk Lam. (3)
Other sources appear to suggest that 1905 was the actual year of the company’s founding.
- HKMemory Project
- Design History: An Anthology, DP Doordan, MIT Press, 1995
- Made in Hong Kong: A History of Export Design in Hong Kong, M Turner, Urban Council,1988
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