Hong Kong As It Was, Hedda Morrison’s Photographs 1946 – 47

Hong Kong Economic Journal, 2010

Hedda Morrison’s valuable photographs were discovered by Edward Stokes, a well known local photographer and writer. By chance, one day in 1995, leafing through the Annual Report on Hong Kong for the Year 1946, some old photographs caught his eye. Stokes later established that the images had been taken by Hedda Morrison, whose documentary photos of China he knew of and admired. His photographer’s instincts told him that the original Hong Kong negatives might still exist. A long search thus began. Many years later, Stokes found the photos he was looking for in the Harvard-Yenching Library. Edward Stokes later put them together in (the bilingual) Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong, and wrote complementary texts with historical background. That book has now been re-published in (the English only) Hong Kong As It Was.

1946 and 1947 were tough years for the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kong As It Was: Hedda Morrison’s Photographs 1946 – 47 records this period with telling texts and images. Published by a partnership of The Photographic Heritage Foundation, Harvard-Yenching Library and Hong Kong University Press, the book features black-and-white images taken by Hedda Morrison during her six-month stay in Hong Kong. The images capture Hong Kong scenes and its way of life at the time. With a photographer’s perceptions and skills, Morrison created a lasting record of Hong Kong, filling some of the blanks in our visual history.