Analog fans turn back digital clock

By Aaron Tam In Hong Kong ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-08-22 08:14:46

Analog fans turn back digital clock

Top left: An employee of an Apple store in Hong Kong. Top right and below: Those in the city who sell records and vintage cameras and radios are the beneficiaries of a new appreciation of things that are old. [Isaac Lawrence/AFP]

In a place famous for its bright city lights and neon-lit high-tech stores, the young are fighting a rearguard action in defense of a retro way of life

In a city crammed with neon-lit tech stores, smartphone vendors and high-end camera shops, a digital backlash is mounting as young Hong Kongers seek out an old-fashioned analog experience.

Hong Kong is a buzzing market for cutting edge technological offerings, with queues around the block for the latest iPhone or tablet.

As consumers focus firmly on the new, there has been little demand for old-school gadgets - retro collectibles are much harder to find in Hong Kong than in other major world cities, where vintage stores have long been a shopping staple.

But interest in the pre-digital era is growing as the city's younger generations seek out everything from film cameras to vinyl records in response to the hi-tech deluge.

"We are constantly bombarded by an endless stream of advertisements for the newest and latest gadgets in our everyday lives," says Sonia Ho, 24, who works at an architectural design firm.

"The functions of a radio, typewriter or even a light meter can be easily downloaded onto our smartphones ... but we're losing the idea of how a particular item actually works," said Ho, who now prefers a second-hand Nikon FE2 film camera to the digital models she previously used.

"It's like being assigned to continue the adventures of the camera from the previous owner and start to capture your own," Ho said.

A growing number of younger photographers in Hong Kong are experimenting with old film cameras - some painstakingly scanning their film photos onto a computer to share on the social media feed Instagram. Ho shares hers under the handle@soniahyh.

Tinny Kwan, who owns a film processing store popular with young photographers in the residential area of Prince Edward, says they are starting to discover the joys of delayed gratification.

"It's like the feeling of gambling. There is a sense of excitement right up until you can see the photos ... with digital, you can see it immediately, that sense of curiosity is lacking," says Kwan, whose shop is popular with young photographers.

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular