CityU showcases famed martial art using new media technology

Terry Lam

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Group photo of guests in the opening ceremony
Group photo of guests at the opening ceremony.


The City University of Hong Kong (CityU) Exhibition Gallery is featuring one of the most enduring Chinese martial art systems, Lingnan Hung Kuen, along with innovative new media technology and 3D visualisation at a new exhibition starting on 9 December on campus.

“Lingnan Hung Kuen Across the Century: Kung Fu Narratives in Hong Kong Cinema and Community” showcases aspects of the martial art as a sport, a cultural heritage, and the inspiration for media and film.

Documentary photographs, kung fu scripts, vintage movie posters and interactive installations highlight the parallel history of two of the most influential martial arts families in Hong Kong: Mr Lam Sai-wing and his descendants modernised and systematised traditional martial arts in South China; and Mr Lau Kar-leung, a kung fu movie star and director, who followed in the footsteps of his father, Mr Lau Jaam, and brought “real kung fu” to the silver screen.

“Perspectives of Hung Kuen in Motion” developed by CityU’s School of Creative Media
“Perspectives of Hung Kuen in Motion” developed by CityU’s School of Creative Media.


Officiating at the opening ceremony on 8 December were Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU; Mr Hing Chao, Executive Director of Institute of Chinese Martial Studies Limited and International Guoshu Association Limited; Mr Anthony Lam Chun-fai, President of the Lam Sai Wing Hung Kuen Research Society; Mr John Tsang Chun-wah, a practitioner of Hung Kuen and the former Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government; Professor Liu Yongfeng, President of Foshan Wushu Association; Professor Alex Jen Kwan-yue, Provost of CityU; Professor Jeffrey Shaw, Professor of CityU’s School of Creative Media; Dr Isabelle Frank, Director of the CityU Exhibition Gallery; Mr Henry Chan Chi-chiu, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Fund, Hong Kong Arts Development Council; and Mr Ernie Wolfe III, Founder of the Wolfe Gallery.

“This exhibition is an excellent illustration of CityU’s commitment to bridging the arts and technological spheres as a way to preserve and celebrate cultural heritage,” said Professor Kuo.

Guests visit the exhibition.
Guests visit the exhibition.


The exhibition had a special significance for kung fu, for himself and for the great partnership between the International Guoshu Association and CityU, Mr Chao said. “It narrates a cross-century journey of martial arts in the form of Lingnan Hung Kuen, how it came to Hong Kong from China, and how Hong Kong has become a place for transformation, where traditional martial arts became popular and then projected to the rest of the world,” he said.

This kung fu journey includes an animation that will bring Hung Kuen Master Lam back to life while visitors to the exhibits can also see the renowned “Iron Wire Boxing” moves performed by the grand master himself. This installation was developed by reconstructing the late master’s facial features using portraits taken in the early twentieth century together with images and data recorded by kung fu demonstrations that were performed by his descendant, Mr Oscar Lam.

Augmented reality installation of kung fu movie vintage posters by CityU


In addition to vintage posters and photos, spectacular scenes from Mr Lau Kar-leung’s Shaw Brothers’ movies are highlighted using 3D adaptation; an installation created by CityU’s SCM allows you to appreciate the martial art from five perspectives; and a linear navigator travelling from 1920 to 2010 explores the history and development of Hung Kuen in Hong Kong.

The exhibition has been organised by CityU, the Institute of Chinese Martial Studies Limited, and the International Guoshu Association Limited, with support from the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

The exhibition comes to CityU Exhibition Gallery following the success of its debut at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre and with double the exhibition area and more enriched elements.

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