Bernard Chan, Foundation Patron, and Helmuth Hennig, Foundation Chairman, at a 2011 book launch.

 

‘Photographs are a most significant aspect of the historical record. The photos by people such as Hedda Morrison are historical documents in their own right, and their legacy communicates fresh details and living interest. I believe the Foundation’s plans deserve generous funding support, preferably for a sustained series of books to be published over some years.’

Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore

The genesis and springboard for the Foundation’s establishment was the 2005 publication of Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong. Published by the Foundation’s precursor body, the Hong Kong Conservation Photography Foundation, also a not-for-profit niche publisher, the book had immediate critical and sales success. ‘Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong’, Pacific Affairs commented, ‘can be considered a book of great distinction. It is also a sensitively produced record, interpretation and ethnographic memoir of a Chinese place with global significance at a time that few now remember. Hedda Morrison made permanent a time and place that no longer exist.’ The book’s reception clearly showed that the book-reading public welcomed ‘journeying back’ through historical photographs.

The Foundation’s primary objective is the dissemination of important and little known, or unknown, historical photographs of Asia, publishing them in books with reproduction and narratives at an international level of excellence.

Inspired by ‘Hedda Hong Kong’, the Chairman and Publisher of the HKCP Foundation, Helmuth Hennig and Edward Stokes, respectively, with Peter Aherne and others, began planning for a new publishing entity. Based on extensive fact finding, and discussions with publishing stakeholders in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sarawak, Australia and the United States, including mainstream publishers, national and state libraries and archives, plans were developed for a new publishing entity. Learning from the experiences of the HKCP Foundation, the new body would take photographic heritage publishing to higher levels, and across Asia. The Photographic Heritage Foundation was formed in May 2008. Its establishment was greatly assisted by the Foundation’s honorary lawyers, Deacons, and by our longtime auditor, M.S.P. Shing & Co.

The other photo stories here present aspects of the Foundation’s objectives, methods and plans. The Foundation’s coming publications are described at PLANNED BOOKS.