(Forgotten) Landscape of Imperial War Memories in a Colonial City: Hong Kong's Cenotaph and Beyond (1920s–1960s)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This research investigates the spatial landscape of Hong Kong's earliest imperial war monument, the Cenotaph, from the city's early colonial past to the 1960s. Hong Kong's Cenotaph, which is an almost exact replica of London's Whitehall Cenotaph, reveals how the British Empire established its imperial visual network in its colonies in the early 20th century. However, the prewar visual representation of the royal authorities through the statues of royal members in the colony's central square was replaced by politically neutral designs for civic use after the end of WWII. Through the exploration of the change of meaning of this monumental space in relation to its neighboring environment, I argue that the end of WWII, the social upheavals in the 1960s and the consequent “depoliticization” of British colonial rule have transformed the early war commemorative artefacts in Hong Kong, marginalizing them in the city's major narrative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-118
Number of pages26
JournalChinese Historical Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 1967 riots
  • British colonial rule
  • Cenotaph
  • Hong Kong
  • Remembrance Sunday
  • Statue Square
  • war monument
  • World War II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Cite this