In the post-World War II era, neon signs became an indelible part of Hong Kong’s streets and skyline. Supplied by hundreds of workshops, they announced all manner of businesses—from restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and pharmacies to jewellery, tailor and pawn shops—while proclaiming the city’s growing prosperity. More recently, however, Hong Kong’s neon signs have been disappearing at a rate of thousands per year, replaced by brighter burning and more energy efficient LED signs. As they recede from view, neon signs, and the processes and stories behind them, become a matter for preservation.
Marked with notations, measurements, revisions, connection points and grid lines (shown in the previous sketch) that aid in enlarging the designs to full scale, these skillfully rendered drawings trace the artful translation of a client’s brief into a graphic medium and, eventually, the sign itself.
NEONSIGNS.HK online exhibition
The NEONSIGNS.HK website includes essays, videos, a neon timeline and an interactive Neon Map. Visit our website at www.neonsigns.hk
The Neons of Hong Kong
Visit our other Google Cultural Institute exhibit featuring highlights of the public submissions to the NEONSIGNS.HK website, while exploring the visual culture of neon signs through portraits by photographer Wing Shya and a video interview with renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle which reveals how neon has influenced some of his classic film works.
With thanks to all the photographers, artists and contributors to the NEONSIGNS.HK online exhibition.
NEONSIGNS.HK is presented by M+, museum for visual culture, West Kowloon Cultural District
This exhibit is prepared by Aric Chen, Chloe Chow, Kingsley Jayasekera and Gloria Wong. (in alphabetical order)