Skip To Content

The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Chairs for Viewing the World through Time

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Thematic Galleries 1 & 2
7 June 2014 - 15 September 2014

 

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Co-organised by the Palace Museum

The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Chairs for Viewing the World through Time is an enthralling exploration of the role this everyday item of furniture has played as a cultural artifact in societies across the world, from ancient times to the recent past.

This major exhibition – the first in Hong Kong to showcase valuable exhibits from the collections of some of the world's leading museums – offers a multi-faceted view of seating under a variety of themes. They include: the evolution of chairs; chairs as symbols of authority and status; chairs in everyday life in areas involving food, clothing; chairs in transport and social activities; chairs in religion and beliefs and their associations with people's values; and the role of chairs in political, economic and cultural exchanges.

The exhibits present rare and ancient chairs, from seats used by emperors, the nobility and commoners to chairs designed for specific functions and trades, as well as chairs designed specially for men, women, children and the elderly. There is also an interesting collection of chairs reflecting the life and times of Hong Kong in the old days, including chairs for village ceremonies and temple rituals, an exquisitely decorated bridal sedan chair for a traditional wedding, and a chair from a bygone barber shop.

By entering the world of the seemingly ordinary chair, visitors will discover an extraordinary wealth of hidden facets spanning the history, culture and art of the world.

The museum will organise a series of special programmes on the theme of chairs. Please click here for details.

Admission Fee

Admission (per person) Standard(adults) Group(groups of 20 persons or more) Concessionary #
"The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Chairs for Viewing the World through Time" Special Exhibition

(7.6.2014 - 15.9.2014)
Thursdays to Mondays:
$20

Wednesdays:
$10
Thursdays to Mondays:
$14

Wednesdays:
$7
Thursdays to Mondays:
$10

Wednesdays:
$5
"The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Chairs for Viewing the World through Time" & "Studio Ghibli Layout Designs: Understanding the Secrets of Takahata and Miyazaki Animation" Combined Ticket ^

(7.6.2014 - 31.8.2014)
Thursdays to Mondays:
$30
Thursdays to Mondays:
$21
Thursdays to Mondays:
$15
  1. # Full-time students, people with disabilities (and one accompanying minder), and senior citizens aged 60 or above can buy concessionary ticket after showing valid identity document.
  2. * Admission tickets for this exhibition also entitle holders to visit other General Exhibitions at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
  3. * Free admission for Museum Pass and Monthly Pass holders and children under 4 years old.
  4. ^ Visitors who would like to visit both Special Exhibitions can purchase both tickets at the box office.

Opening Hours

From 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am to 7 pm on weekends and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays).

Visiting Rules

  • To protect intellectual rights, photography or video shooting is prohibited inside the exhibition area. Any person who conducts unauthorized photography or video shooting will be asked to leave the area.
  • Please do not write on, mark, soil or damage any exhibit, installation, wall or facility in the exhibition area.
  • Large bags are not allowed inside the exhibition venue.
  • Please do not make excessive noise, run, play, eat or drink inside the exhibition area. Please also refrain from using mobile phones inside the exhibition area.

Inclement Weather Arrangements

  1. Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 or above: The museum will close. If the signal is lowered less than 2 hours before the normal closing time, the museum will remain closed that day.
  2. Black Rainstorm Warning: If the warning is issued during normal opening hours, the museum will remain open. If the warning is issued before the museum opens, the museum will be closed until the warning is cancelled. If the warning is cancelled less than 2 hours before normal closing hours, the museum will remain closed that day.

Public guided tour arrangements:

When typhoon signal no. 8 or above is hoisted, all public guided tours will be cancelled. If the signal is lowered 3 hours or more before the tours commence, the tours will be conducted as scheduled. When the black rainstorm warning is issued during normal opening hours, all guided tours in progress will continue. For those which have not started will be cancelled. If the black rainstorm warning is lowered 3 hours or more before the tours commence, the tours will be conducted as scheduled.

For enquiries, please call 2180 8188 during office hours or email to hkhm@lcsd.gov.hk

Exhibit Highlights

Antler Armchair

Antler Armchair

Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1661-1722)
China
© The Palace Museum

 

Egyptian Stool

c. 1539-1295 BCE
Egypt (Saqqara)
Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wibour Fund
(37.45E)

Egyptian Stool

 

Three-way Sofa

Three-way Sofa

c.1850, England
Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund
(53.20.1)

 

Gouty chair

c.1800
France
Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Gouty chair

 

Asante Tribal Stool

Asante Tribal Stool

© The Trustees of British Museum.
All rights reserved.

 

Armchair (Caquetoire)

French
Second half of 16th century and 19th century
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
(1975.1.2036)
Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Image source: Art Resource, NY

Armchair (Caquetoire)

 

Black Lacquered Folding Chair with Cloud and Dragon Design in Gold

Black Lacquered Folding Chair with Cloud and Dragon Design in Gold

Early Qing dynasty
China
© The Palace Museum

 

Two-seat Pram

Before 1970s
Collection of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Donated by Mr Man Yuk-ping

Two-seat Pram

 

African Chair with Figures Made of Wood, Hide and Brass

African Chair with Figures Made of Wood, Hide and Brass

Congo Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo
© The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved.