Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

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Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Madame Tussauds HK.jpg
The entrance to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese 香港杜莎夫人蠟像館
Simplified Chinese 香港杜莎夫人蜡像馆

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, part of the renowned chain of wax museums founded by Marie Tussaud of France, is located at the Peak Tower on Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. It is the first and one of the only two permanent Madame Tussauds museums in Asia, the other being the Shanghai branch, which opened in 2006.[1] The Hong Kong branch houses nearly 100 wax figures of internationally known personalities, with Asian figures taking up more than a third of the total, of which sixteen were Hong Kongers.[2][3] The wax figures are featured in a range of themed settings such as Hong Kong Glamour, Music Icons, Historical and National Heroes, The Champions and World Premiere.

History[edit]

The Peak Tower at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

In the late 1990s, Madame Tussauds had outlets spanning worldwide in major cities such as London, Amsterdam and Las Vegas, but none was in the Asia-Pacific region. When the "Madame Tussaud's Touring Attraction" ran in Asian cities of Singapore and Australia, proving to be highly popular, the Tussauds Group decided to open a permanent outlet in Asia to cater to such demand, and Hong Kong was chosen for its proximity to the Asian markets.[1]

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong opens at The Peak in 2000, and features nearly 100 wax figures of internationally known personalities and local celebrities to date – with Asian figures taking up more than a third of the total, of which sixteen were Hong Kongers. Asian celebrities and superstars have often graced the unveiling of their wax likenesses with sizeable groups of their fans tagging along. In September 2005, it began its renovation in its effort to bring an interactive and immersive entertainment experience to visitors. It re-opened at a cost of HK$20 million (US$2.6 million) on 18 May 2006, adding a further 700 square metres (7,500 sq ft) of exhibition space on three floors and five themed areas.[4] Visitors can journey through the attraction, stopping to mingle with the 'stars' in a range of themed settings including Hong Kong Glamour, Music Icons, Historical and National Heroes, The Champions and World Premiere.[1]

As of 2008, the museum is headed by Bret Pidgeon, who is currently the general manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has worked for eight years for Madame Tussauds in New York previously.[5] The museum is accessible from Central via minibus, taxi or Peak Tram and opens all year round from 10 am to 10 pm daily. Admission fee is HK$140 (US$18) for adults and HK$70 for children aged between 3 to 11 years old.[6]

Wax figure making process[edit]

The wax likeness of singer and movie star Andy Lau.

In over one or more sittings, a highly skilled sculptor from Madame Tussauds Studios who is given direct access to the celebrity will record the colours of the hair and eyes, and over 500 precise body measurements are referenced.[7] Most important is to capture the look of the celebrity to reflect the personality of each unique individual. The next task is to make a clay model of the head and body which is used to create a mould. Wax cast of the head and hands are made from the mould, and the eyes are inserted. Each eye is hand-painted to achieve a perfect match of the original. Real human hair is then inserted painstakingly strand by strand.[7]

The head and hands are coloured using a blend of oil, water and acrylic colour. From the mould, the body is cast in fibreglass, and the head and hands are fitted to the fiberglass body and dressed in clothes that are often donated by the celebrity. The pose, clothes and expression on the face all contribute to making the figure as realistic as possible. The whole process usually takes up to six months by a team of 20 people to create[7] and cost about HK$1 million each.[8]

Unique figures[edit]

  • The figure of Miriam Yeung, unveiled on November 2006, is the first in the world designed to giggle via in-built sensors. Miriam is well known for her fun-loving and bubbly personality, and Madame Tussauds want to capture that essence in her figure.[9]
  • The figure of Connie Chan, unveiled on August 2006, was the first figure to appear in full Chinese regalia. The model's costume was inspired by the musical Only You, set in the Yuan Dynasty, in which Chan formerly starred.[10]
  • The figure of Bae Yong-joon, unveiled on May 2006, is the first Korean star to be included in a Madame Tussauds exhibition.[11]
  • The figure of Andy Lau, unveiled on April 2005, was the outlet first animatronic model that was crafted out of silicone rather than wax. Lau's animatronic heartbeat was modelled on a similar system installed in a replica of Brad Pitt at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam.[8]

Featured personalities[edit]

The list of featured celebrities sorted according to on-site themes are:[2]

Madame Tussauds Shanghai[edit]

The second Asian outlet is located in the Chinese city of Shanghai. Attracted by Shanghai's growing reputation and tourism volume in East Asia, the Tussauds Group approached Shanghai authorities to discuss the possibility of opening its second Asian location in early 2004. The Shanghai authorities agreed with the proposal and Madame Tussauds Shanghai (上海杜莎夫人臘像館) was opened on 1 May 2006 on the 10th floor of the New World Department Store at West Nanjing Road.[21]

The Shanghai outlet houses nearly 75 wax figures of local and internationally known celebrities to date, and will add more in its second and third phases.[22] The museum opens all year round from 10 am to 10 pm daily and it is divided up into seven themed sections: Glamour, Behind the Scenes, History and Heroes, Music, Film, Speed and Sport. Admission fee is RMB 135 (US$20) for adults and RMB 100 for students.[23] Madame Tussauds Shanghai is the Tussauds Group's sixth waxwork museum after London, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, New York City and Hong Kong.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History of Madame Tussauds: 1980-2000s". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  2. ^ a b The Tussauds Group (2006). Madame Tussauds Hong Kong Guidebook. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. 
  3. ^ "News: Press Clippings". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 20 June 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Aaron Kwok's figure unveils at newly revamped Madame Tussauds Hong Kong". Xinhua News Agency. 22 May 2006. 
  5. ^ "Bret Pidgeon – General manager Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and Shanghai". South China Morning Post. 7 April 2008. p. FB Business, Technology. 
  6. ^ "Madame Tussauds Hong Kong: General Admission". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c Madame Tussauds Hong Kong Guidebook (2006) – "Studio Secrets: Wax Figure Making Process".
  8. ^ a b Gentle, Nick (6 February 2005). "Fans to turn the tables on heart-throb Andy Lau". South China Morning Post. p. FT News, Education. 
  9. ^ "She's made to measure with a giggle". South China Morning Post. 17 August 2006. p. FT News, Education. 
  10. ^ "Actress Connie Chan Po-chu checks out her wax model as it is unveiled at Madame Tussauds...". South China Morning Post. 31 August 2006. p. FT News, Education. 
  11. ^ "It was supposed to be all about Korean film star Bae Yong-jun being immortalised...". South China Morning Post. 16 May 2006. p. FT News, Education. 
  12. ^ "Leo Ku Comes Face to Face with his Cartoon Creation "Kubi" as Madame Tussauds...". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 August 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Vidal does a double take, then waxes lyrical". South China Morning Post. 21 July 2007. 
  14. ^ "Waxing historical: Simon Yam Tat-wah and Qi Qi pose with wax figures of their...". South China Morning Post. 28 September 2007. p. FT News, Education. 
  15. ^ "Donnie Yen figure reveiled as Ip Man". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "Welcome Jet Li to its A-List kung fu superstars". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "Ronaldinho wax figure arrives Hong Kong (Chinese)". 21 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. "President Barack Obama Takes Office". Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "Prince William joins royal family in Madame Tussauds HK". Xinhua News Agency. 7 August 2007. 
  20. ^ "Hong Kong's Donald Tsang gives trademark bow tie to wax figure". Xinhua News Agency. 7 April 2008. 
  21. ^ "Shanghai's house of wax all set". China Daily. 25 April 2006. p. Industry updates section. 
  22. ^ a b Xu, Xiaomin (2 May 2006). "Meeting Stars Face-To-Face in Shanghai". China Daily. 
  23. ^ "Madame Tussauds Shanghai: General Admission (Chinese)". Madame Tussauds Shanghai. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°16′17.49″N 114°8′59.45″E / 22.2715250°N 114.1498472°E / 22.2715250; 114.1498472