Heritage & Community

The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong is built on the historically important site at Mount Davis, which includes The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Heritage Campus housing The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Heritage Courtyard and Interpretation Centre (HCIC) that is opened to the public. It presents permanent and rotating exhibits highlighting the history of the site to the public.

The University of Chicago has conducted extensive historical research and heritage interpretation exercise to re-construct the usage of the site and its interactions with larger communities throughout its history. Numerous interviews with historians, former detainees and other people associated with the site have been conducted. Six narratives based on the evidence found on site and obtained from verifiable sources are presented in the Heritage Interpretation Centre. By focusing on the historic layers, the Centre hopes to promote the heritage significance of the site and to relate it to the history of Hong Kong in a broader context.

In our guided tours, visitors will see the revitalized Grade 3 heritage buildings, namely Blocks A, B, and B Annex, and the preserved exterior heritage elements (the battery and the magazine), as well as heritage trails where remnants of Block C can be seen. Visitors can also tour the HCIC. Converted from Block B Annex and the entry courtyard, HCIC presents permanent and rotating exhibits highlighting the unique history of the Mount Davis site. 

Regular guided tours are offered every Friday and Sunday for general public to join. Group Guided Tour is available for local registered charitable organizations, non-profit-making institutions, schools to book with group size of 10-20 people. Guests may also visit the Heritage Courtyard and Interpretation Centre, Trails, and Grounds on their own.

Since the Grand Opening in December 2018, more than 300 guided tours have been organized hosting more than 3000 guests from different backgrounds e.g. tertiary institutes, architectural firms, elderly centers and disabled guests. More detailed breakdown can be found in Appendices J to L.

Art Exhibition – Art of War: Chinese Woodcuts from Yan’an ca. 1944 (Nov 30, 2018 – Mar 31, 2019)

The exhibition features a set of eighteen woodcut prints created during WWII by a group of fervent artists who fought for China’s survival with wood-carving knives, ink and paper.  Inspired by the teachings of the revolutionary thinker Lu Xun (1881-1936) and sustained by a shared conviction to prevail, young artists such as Yan Han (1916-2011), Gu Yuan (1919-96) and Li Qun (1921-2012) created some of the most defining images of the period without resorting to gruesome imagery that often characterized wartime China.  Printed on coarse paper and shown unceremoniously for public consumption in resource-stricken Yan’an, these compelling images celebrate patriotism, comradery, and above all, the determination to overcome obstacles and create order during the moment of national crisis. Presented to an American soldier in Yan’an as a token of appreciation by the Chinese, these prints—long held by the American soldier’s family until recently—are shown for the first time in public in this exhibition. As this site at Mount Davis was once a battery against Japanese invasion in the last century, these prints offer a glimpse of the hardship suffered during the war.

This exhibit was presented in partnership with the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and was curated by Josh Yiu (AB’00; Director of the Museum) and Andie Fialkoff (AB’19; Jeff Metcalf intern at CUHK in 2018). The prints were acquired by Professors Patricia Ebrey (AB‘68) and Thomas Ebrey (SM’65, PhD’68) who donated to the Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. This was the first time that the prints were shown publicly since 1944.


The Art of Literal Articulation: Translation Manuscripts of Jin Pin Mei & Xiyou Ji (Nov 30, 2018 – Mar 31, 2019)

The exhibition features the set of translation manuscripts of Jin Ping Mei and Xiyou Ji by two University of Chicago professors who distinguished themselves in the difficult art of translation are recognized here: David Tod Roy (1933-2016) and Anthony C. Yu (1938-2015). Their versions of Jin Ping Mei and Xiyou Ji, requiring decades of work, have been greeted as vivid additions to the canon of literature in English and unequaled means of access to the thought and society of premodern China. As well as supplying faithful and stylish renditions of the often difficult original language, Professors Yu and Roy transformed the critical understanding of these works, emphasizing the syncretic religious allegory of Xiyou Ji and the moral dimension of Jin Ping Mei.  The work of these two distinguished colleagues stands as an emblem of the Chicago style of intense scholarly engagement directed toward the understanding of China. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Hye-jin Juhn, Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame to make this exhibition successful.

The Premiere of Documentary Film – Mt. Davis: From Citadel to Campus was held on May 6, 2019. A documentary film about the history of Mount Davis and how the site transformed from citadel to campus was premiered at Yuen Campus with reception and post-screening discussion.