Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of History

Title

The Transformation of an Overseas Chinese Family: Three Generations of the Eu Tong Sen Family 1822-1941

Language

English

Abstract

Architecture can be viewed as a reflection of value placed on life. In colonial Hong Kong, a distinctive Gothic-style castle, Euston, was built by tycoon Eu Tong Sen (1877–1941) as his family's grand residence. Eu was a prominent figure in South China and Southeast Asia and remains a local legend decades after his death. Eu's castle, being built in 1928 and demolished in the 1980s, was and still is one of the most recognizable monuments in the region. Although Eu did not leave behind any autobiography or memoirs, the monumental castle can be regarded as a symbolic manifestation of his life story. The design of the castle is of mixed ancestry—it is a reconciliation of traditional Chinese design based on feng shui (Chinese geomancy) with European architectural elements. The fusion of East-West architectural building elements, as symbolized by the Eu castle, was a significant achievement symbolizing general social and cultural changes spanning more than a century.

Publication Date

2005

Source Publication Title

Modern Asian Studies

Volume

39

Issue

3

Start Page

599

End Page

630

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

DOI

10.1017/S0026749X05001873

ISSN (print)

0026-749X

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