Synopses & Reviews
Hong Kong Apothecary transports us to the exotic world of Eastern medicine, a world of oils, powders, pills, and cures for every known ailment from impotency to opium addiction. As peculiar as "pink pills for pale people" are the packages containing these medicaments. Author Simon Go has combed manufacturers, shops, and home medicine cabinets for years collecting the most compelling examples. The result is a visual cabinet of curiosities, a graphical pharmacopoeia. Divided by type--such as ointments, herbal teas, infused oils--Hong Kong Apothecary presents the fascinating graphics and tantalizing descriptions of hundreds of medicines and gives us an insight into Chinese culture afforded only by examining the artifacts and customs of everyday life. Many of these medicines are no longer produced, making Hong Kong Apothecary a memoir of a quickly disappearing culture. This lavishly illustrated book is of interest as much for designers seeking inspiration in the unknown vernacular of commercial graphics as for anyone interested in Eastern medicine.
Hong Kong photojournalist Go traces Chinese medicine packaging through changes in concepts and values, in the technologies of packaging and printing, and in internal and external influences. The text and illustrations are nicely balanced so that neither dominates. There is no index or bibliography.
About the Author
Simon Go is a photojournalist whose work has been shown in Hong Kong, Paris, and the United States. He lives in Hong Kong.
Table of Contents
Rejuvenating design --Origin of Chinese medicine --About Chinese medicine packaging --Chronology of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong and landmark events --Gou/plasters --Dann/pellets --Yun/pills --Saan/powders --Herbal teas --Medicinal oils --Tonic wines --Medicine for men --Medicine for women --Medicine for children --Design --History --Legends.