The University Library of The Chinese University of Hong Kong will present the exhibition ‘Praying Mantis School Master WONG Hon Fan and the Martial Arts Revitalisation Movement’ from 11 November 2016 to 28 February 2017. The exhibition will showcase the valuable collections donated by the family of Master Wong Hon Fan, the chief campaigner for the revitalisation movement.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, China was at the mercy of Western powers. National pride and the self-confidence of its people were at rock bottom. Over time, the strengthening of people’s physical calibre by the practice of Chinese martial arts was promoted by concerned groups in the community. At the beginning of 1909, Master HUO Yuanjia, CHEN Gongzhe , LU Weichang and other members founded the Chin Woo Athletic Association (Chin Woo), with the aim of promoting martial arts and the strengthening of both body and spirit.
Master WONG Hon Fan learned martial arts from the famous Praying Mantis School Master LUO Guangyu. He then became a martial arts master himself and served Chin Woo for 40 years. During that period, he was the chief campaigner for the revitalisation movement. At the same time, he was an advocate of the healthy development of Chinese martial arts, making substantial contributions to the movement. He was a key figure in the Praying Mantis school in Hong Kong. Not only that, he also authored and published more than 30 books on Praying Mantis practices and theories, as well as views on Chinese martial arts in general. Hence the extension of the Chinese martial arts lineage was made possible.
At the ‘Praying Mantis School Master WONG Hon Fan and the Martial Arts Revitalisation Movement’ exhibition, one can get a general picture of the martial arts scene at the time, together with an understanding of how Master WONG learned, taught and wrote about martial arts and how he contributed to the martial arts community. In addition, one can understand how martial arts practitioners built an unbroken lineage, passing on the discipline from generation to generation during turbulent times.