Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong

Re-examining the architectural configuration with the meanings behind, DigiRadiance extends implications in forms of digital interpretation of the architecture and history of Victoria Gaol 

17 Feb 2023 - 16 Mar 2023
Venue / Country
Hong Kong


The memories and spaces of Victoria Gaol—Hong Kong’s first prison—are the focus of Tai Kwun’s brand-new digital programme DigiRadiance. The heritage digital exhibition consists of two parts: a 30-minute immersive show transforming the F Hall Studio into an immersive project space; and five Augmented Reality checkpoints across the Prison Yard and D Hall that will take visitors on a nostalgic journey to explore Tai Kwun’s history. 


Bringing the old Victoria Gaol to life, the new heritage digital exhibition at Tai Kwun, curated by Ying Kwok and Jims Lam, Curators of Heritage Department, allows visitors to experience the past by stepping into the digital world. The first and longest-operating prison in Hong Kong, Victoria Gaol, opened in 1841 and is said to be one of the first buildings constructed of durable material in the city. Now, reimagined and interpreted in a digital context, the prison has been transported back in time to visualise the development of law and order in Hong Kong from artists’ perspectives. 


Placing emphasis on architectural materiality and spatial configuration of the 19th century Victoria Gaol, the DigiRadiance exhibition has been designed into two parts. The first programme presented at F Hall Studio takes the original radial plan of Victoria Gaol as a point of departure to revisit Tai Kwun’s prison history and its significance to Tai Kwun as a heritage compound today. Through a 30-minute immersive video experience created by artists Vvzela Kook and Ng Tsz Kwan, the visual production evokes the experience of imprisonment and guides visitors through the prison’s extended implications in societal discourse, such as discipline, punishment, and reform. In the second part, a journey through five Augmented Reality checkpoints across the Prison Yard and the D Hall then leads visitors on a continuous journey that explores Tai Kwun’s history. 


Five carefully selected checkpoints centre around the ground-breaking radial plan prison, and its evolvement during the first hundred years when it was first built. The building had experienced dramatic changes, which reflect the changing needs for prison capacity and the ideology for imprisonment. Echoing the artists’ video, the checkpoints highlight the remaining structures of Victoria Gaol and demonstrate how architecture design and spatial configuration reflect the needs.


Ying Kwok, Curator of DigiRadiance and Senior Curator of Tai Kwun, said, “Through reimagining and reinterpreting our historical buildings in a digital context, we hope to bring our visitors back in time, not only to visualise how our buildings have evolved over time, but also to learn and understand how and why these buildings are designed and built as they had. And through these learnings, we hope the visitors can develop a deeper relationship with our historical site, and continue to value and treasure heritage sites such as Tai Kwun. “ DigiRadiance runs from 17 February to 16 March 2023 and starts on the hour and half-hour between 11am and 7pm every day (the last session begins at 6:30pm). Each show has a capacity of 30 people. 


Join artists Vvzela Kook and Ng Tsz Kwan as Tai Kwun hosts an artist sharing session for DigiRadiance audiences on 7 March 2023. Together, the artists will delve into the making of DigiRadiance, the depths and challenges of creating cybernetic journeys, and much more. The session is open to the public and is free of charge. Please refer to Tai Kwun’s website for programme updates and registration details. 


Learn more: https://www.taikwun.hk/en/