Hong Kong is famous internationally as one of the world’s greatest commercial and financial centres; a port and a city on the coast of South China; a venue for businessmen and financiers of all nationalities and the organizations and staff who support them; a place that never sleeps in its relentless pursuit of prosperity.
What is not so well known is that Hong Kong has an advantage not enjoyed by other world-famous business centres. That advantage is its close proximity to one of the world’s most important areas of plant life; an area that extends beyond Hong Kong’s New Territories and deep into the adjacent province of Guangdong.
Favourable geographic and climatic conditions there have created one of the world’s most interesting locations for the study and enjoyment of plants, and wild life. Not surprisingly this has long attracted the attention of Chinese and foreign botanists and naturalists and more recently has become a place of recreation for those living in Hong Kong’s overcrowded housing estates.
This exhibition, organized by the University Library System of The Chinese University of Hong Kong is focused upon one aspect only of Hong Kong’s environmental heritage, that of the painting and description of wild flowers.
100 original paintings are on display. All the flowers painted were collected by Mrs. Walden herself from the countryside in Hong Kong and Guangdong between 1970 and 1987. They are pages from her botanical sketch books. After they had been painted the plants were dried and later identified and described by Professor S.Y.Hu on the basis of the Far East Collection of Specimens at the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, The Chinese University Herbarium and other herbaria.
This long partnership resulted in the publication of two books “Wild Flowers of South China and Hong Kong” 1979 and “Wild Flowers of South China and Hong Kong Part 2” 1987. The author’s hope was that the books would encourage greater interest in and conservation of the region’s plant life, particularly among teachers and students.
The Chinese names of the flowers on the paintings were written by the late Mr. Wong Ki Lim M.B.E.