Dr. Ko Pui Shuen
Chairman of Kingrich Asia Holdings Limited
A few years ago, I visited HKUST together with my fellows of the Hong Kong Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce. We were deeply impressed by the special and extensive collection of Western early printed maps of China at HKUST Library. Throughout the years, the Chamber and I myself are very supportive to HKUST Library in utilizing the collection to the wider community in Hong Kong and worldwide. In the past years, I supported the antique maps’ digitization and the exhibition gallery renovation so that the general public could not only review the maps online but also understand more about the whole collection through the events that HKUST Library organized.
HKUST Library approached me again with a proposal to write an academic book on the Western maps of China sometimes ago. I was fascinated by the idea as these maps, aged over 300 years and written in western languages, are not easy to understand and interpret. Dr Marco Caboara and his team devoted their effort and energy to study these maps one by one in compiling this work. Each of these maps tells a story, often adventurous, about how the information they represent was gathered, visualized and reproduced. All together, as a collection, they tell the wider story of how Western mapmakers gradually got hold of Chinese data, set it in a global cartographic framework and interacted with Chinese mapmakers for centuries, until uniform modern cartography as we know it became the norm in the 19th century.
Together with the collection’s interactive website, I believe the book will be a fundamental tool for the people in the field and help the community to understand the history and their Chinese identity, and deepen their arts appreciation skills.
前言 – 高佩璇博士
幾年前，我和香港潮州商會的同僚一起到訪香港科技大學，更參觀了科大圖書館。科大圖 書館所收藏的一批西方早期印刷的中國古地圖，既特別又豐富，讓我們留下了深刻的印 象。多年來，我和香港潮州商會都很樂意支持科大圖書館將這項特別館藏推廣至香港以至 世界各地。在過去的幾年裡，我捐助了圖書館將古地圖珍藏數碼化和翻新展覽廳，讓公眾 不僅可以在網上閱覽和研究這些珍貴的古地圖，還可以參與由科大圖書館舉辦的活動以了 解更多有關古地圖藏品的資料。
科大圖書館早前向我提出計劃書，以這一批特別的藏品撰寫一本關於中國古地圖的學術著 作。我非常贊同這項提議，並再次支持這項別具意義的計劃。要去理解及翻譯這些已有三 百多年歷史，及以西方語言繪製的古地圖，並不是一件容易的事。Marco Caboara 博士和 他的團隊傾注了他們的心血和精力，把這些古地圖遂一研究並編成這一本學術著作。每一 幅古地圖都講述了一個故事，往往充滿冒險色彩，展示了其中所載的資訊是如何被收集、 視覺化，再繪製成一幅地圖。再者，整批古地圖特藏一起展述了更廣泛的故事，即早期西 方製圖者是如何蒐集中國的地理文化資料，將其置於全球地圖框架中，並與中國製圖者互 動，逐漸於19世紀達成一致，演變成為我們所熟知的現代製圖方式。
我相信，這本學術書連同古地圖特藏的互動網站，將成為這一學術領域的研究人員不可缺 少的工具，也能夠幫助社會各界去瞭解歷史和他們中國人的身份，並加深他們的藝術鑑賞 能力。