Kwong Kai Ming’s sketches 1950-1990s Hong Kong

Thomas Ngan has sent information about the sketches of Hong Kong by Kwong Kai Ming. These are of general interest though some, including those shown below, are of an industrial or commercial nature.

The entire collection of sketches can be found on the Hong Kong Memory Project’s website, linked below.

The site says, “This collection displays over 80 pieces of Mr. Kong’s sketches in the 1950-1990s, presenting unnoticed street corners in elegant style and unique angle that brim with historical interest. Mr. Kong Kai-ming’s strokes are a lively record of life and scenery of Hong Kong, which bring us back to the good old days.”

Each sketch has accompanying text which I have included with the selected sketches.

Before the 1960’s, Hong Kong industry was relatively small-scale and somewhat backward. There were small factories in domestic premises, and the business was mainly labour-intensive, such as metal, timber and village craft. The industries that were medium-scale included weaving, spinning, paper products, clothing, bleaching, dyeing, and others. These have now developed into enterprises which are modernized and multi-national. In the past, plant size was small and scattered. Today, factories of different sizes were concentrated in industrial estates for the ease of management and transportation.

Kwong Kai Ming a

A family-style factory in Kowloon City

The tram terminus at Whitty Street is located in Shek Tong Tsui praya. In the early days, there were warehouses in this area, and next to the warehouses were barges for the loading and unloading of cargo. The painting on the left shows the condition in the early years. Nowadays, there are commercial buildings in this area. More land has been added by reclamation. The left-hand-side of the painting above shows the new headquarters of the Hong Kong Tramways (about 110,000 square feet) which was built on reclaimed land. It opened in 1989. The old headquarters of the Hong Kong Tramways in Wanchai was redeveloped into a 47-storey commercial building in 1993. 
Kwong Kai Ming c Tram Terminus

Whitty Street Tram Terminus, 1978

The Lane Crawford Company was formed by T.A. Lane and N. Crawford in Hong Kong in 1850. It was not officially registered as a limited company until 1922. The company is known for selling world-famous product brands. The painting shows the old Lane Crawford Company in Des Voeux Road Central, which is now the Hong Kong Landmark. Many new companies have moved to Queen’s Road Central, Admiralty, and Causeway Bay. Recently, commercial buildings are rapidly being constructed in Hong Kong, particularly in the Central, Admiralty, Wanchai and Tsimshatsui districts. 

Kwong Kai Ming b Lane Crawford

The Old Lane Crawford, Des Voeux Road, Central

This article was first posted on 7th July 2015.


  1. Kwong Kai Ming’s sketches Hong Kong Memory project
  2. The Hong Kong Memory project Hong Kong Memory (HKM) is a multi-media web site that gives free and open access to digitized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage. The materials include text documents, photographs, posters, sound recordings, motion pictures and videos.
  3. Hong Kong Baptist University Library – the Kwong Kai Ming collection

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Kwan Wai Nung, the “King of Calendar Art”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *