Bryan Ong has made it his venture to maintain pieces that inform the tale of Hong Kong’s British colonial previous at the same time as Beijing increasingly more shapes lifestyles within the town this is firmly again within the fold of the mainland.
Ong, 42, has been gathering colonial memorabilia since he used to be a kid and closing 12 months opened The Museum Victoria Town to position his treasures on show, indifferent from rising acrimony between China and Britain, fuelled partially through the colonial legacy.
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“Whether or not it’s just right or dangerous, it’s a part of Hong Kong historical past,” Ong stated.
His two-storey museum shows army medals, badges, royal portraits, stamps, banknotes, newspaper clippings and colonial executive leaflets. It doubles as a memento store.
Ong’s grandmother gave him a medal of a Hong Kong-based British Gurkha soldier as a present when he used to be a kid, inspiring his fascination with the town’s historical past.
A partly burnt British flag recovered from a Struggle International Two combat in Hong Kong, when Jap forces captured the town, is likely one of the museum’s most valuable pieces.
Hong Kong’s colonial generation ended on July 1, 1997, after 156 years, marking for China the go back of an integral a part of its territory separated from the motherland for too lengthy through the designs of colonialists.
After pro-democracy protests in 2019, China moved to crack down on dissent and assert its authority over the town in ways in which Britain has stated contravened its handover settlement that runs till 2047, drawing offended rebukes from Beijing.
China imposed a countrywide safety regulation at the town in 2020 adopted through reforms to take away from public posts someone noticed as disloyal. Training, the media and different sectors had been increasingly more underneath force to turn patriotism and beef up for China’s management.
Ong stated he used to be no longer apprehensive concerning the fast-changing political setting.
“I’m a Hong Kong lad. No longer British,” Ong stated, including he didn’t assume his museum would irk the government.
“We will be able to check out our highest to maintain the nice oldies of Hong Kong,” Ong stated. “Stay calm and lift on.”
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