Collector captures Hong Kong's colonial past

STORY: Every step up this staircase in Hong Kong is a step back to the past.

Businessman Bryan Ong opened The Museum Victoria City last year.

It’s part personal collection and part souvenir shop, a two-storey time capsule of the territory’s British colonial past.

“I think history is quite important to every individual, regardless if it's good or bad, there's always lessons to learn and always experiences from the past.”

Next week, Hong Kong will mark 25 years since the British handed the territory back to China.

But, for hobbyists like Ong, the past still lingers.

His fascination has turned into a pastime collecting things like stamps, banknotes and portraits.

Among the museum's most precious items: a partially-burnt British flag dating back to a World War Two battle.

Ong began building his trove when he was only 15 years old.

"These are all the newspaper clippings I collected as a teenager about the 1997 handover, which I consider invaluable because they took a lot of time and work to collect. This specific piece news report is noteworthy since it shows the navy taking down the Queen's portrait from headquarters."

Hong Kong is preparing for the handover anniversary on July 1st amid growing acrimony between the city’s old political masters and mainland China.

Britain has accused Beijing of breaking its promises following a crackdown on dissent after the 2019 pro-democracy protests.

Beijing has responded with angry rebukes.

Ong’s museum may seem politically sensitive.

But he is confident there is nothing here that would irk authorities.

"If you ask me whether I think I'm British? I'm definitely not, I'm a Hong Kong man.”

And that, he says, is a completely different identity.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting