Glimpse Hong Kong as your great-grandparents might have seen it, courtesy of rare colour film footage shot by visitors to the territory almost a century ago.

Video: when Hong Kong still had junks and rickshaws, and Shenzhen didn’t exist

Wide-eyed travellers were able to capture Hong Kong in all its animated glory for the first time in the 1920s, when Kodak launched 16mm film aimed at amateur filmmakers.


Arriving in the city by steamship or aeroplane, 1920s tourists ventured out by car, ferry, tram and rickshaw to see the colony’s highlights, taking in such landmarks as The Peninsula, The Peak, Repulse Bay, Nathan Road, the Chinese border, Aberdeen, Tiger Balm Gardens, The Praya waterfront promenade, Queen’s Pier, Central, Stanley, Old Kowloon and the walled villages. Their cinematic journey now comes full circle as footage filmed in Hong Kong from the 1920s onwards and stored for decades in the United States returns to be shared.

The films, and a display of vintage movie cameras, loaned by the American Film Archive and film collector Craig McCourry, are part of “Montage Express”, which runs at the Oi! art space in Oil Street, North Point, until January 2. Entry is free.

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