LKS Medical Faculty MEHU
Digital Exhibition: “Health by Design: The art of health messaging in Hong Kong”
Digital Exhibition: “Health by Design: The art of health messaging in Hong Kong”
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Digital Exhibition: “Health by Design: The art of health messaging in Hong Kong”

Digital Exhibition –
Health by Design: The art of health messaging in Hong Kong”

Date:     11 March – 30 April 2024

Venue:   E-signage boards outside the Cheung Kung Hai Conference Centre, G/F, William MW Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam

The new digital exhibition ‘Health by Design: The art of health messaging in Hong Kong’ currently on show at the Cheung Kung Kai Conference Centre in the Li Ka Sing Faculty of Medicine, HKU, features a carefully curated selection of public health posters that span seven decades of Hong Kong’s history, from the turbulent post-war period up until the present day. The exhibition presents an exciting and unique visual perspective on the evolution of local and international health priorities, societal attitudes toward disease, and artistic styles over a period of rapid advances in medicine. The posters illustrate the vital role of public health campaigns in shaping the health and well-being of Hong Kong’s mobile and diverse population and explores the role these posters played in the transfer of knowledge between the medical community and the public. In short, the exhibition calls attention to Hong Kong’s unique culture of health messaging that has fundamentally shaped public knowledge of health, medicine and disease.

After the Second World War, standards of public health in Hong Kong improved dramatically. From a ruined wartime city beset by outbreaks of infectious disease, it transformed into one of the healthiest metropoles in the world (and facing new health challenges as a result). This development both accompanied and underpinned Hong Kong’s “economic miracle” that took shape over the same period. The accomplishment was achieved to a significant extent by generating public enthusiasm for health, hygiene, and “modern medicine” through the powerful use of imagery. Creative and impactful visual health messaging was produced by both government departments and NGO’s and displayed in a variety of venues: from streets, lifts, restaurants, and public transport to the entrances of country parks and glittering malls. Posters with memorable slogans and characters, such as Miss Ping On 平安小組 and Lap Sap Chung 垃圾蟲, became as ubiquitous in the post-war city as its neon signs and commercial adverts. The dramatic outbreak of SARS in 2003 and the more recent pandemic of Covid-19 have only served to boost this already thriving public health practice.

Striking and historically significant, the featured posters cover a broad range of health themes including hygiene and sanitation, communicable diseases, pests, safety, family planning, smoking and drugs, mental health, and more recent health challenges posed by lifestyle conditions. They highlight the diverse tactics and styles employed to engage the viewers’ attention, from bright colours and bold text, to the different tones adopted to modify negative health behaviours. The images resonate with different age groups who may connect with specific campaigns, mascots and messaging, reviving powerful stories of Hong Kong’s social, cultural and medical history, while the exhibition also taps into an ever-popular visual nostalgia.

As a final point, the exhibition prompts viewers to consider the utility of posters as a health technology in the past and present, as well in a future context. What role do posters play in an increasingly digital health era and can such a simple, but affordable and accessible medium remain relevant and effective?

Please note: Due to the historical nature of the posters, some health information may not be current. This exhibition is not intended to convey best health advice to viewers. All images subject to copyright.


We hope you enjoy the exhibition.

Enquiry: Please contact Dr Ria Sinha or Mr Edison Cheng at