March 20th 2014
Neon signs are an integral part of the iconic make up of our city. But as their numbers dwindle under accusations of tackiness and the Buildings Department's The Validation Scheme for Unauthorised Signboards
, they could soon cease to be a staple part of Hong Kong's landscape.
The scheme requires all signboard owners to receive a safety inspection and approval by the Building Department for legal installment, which needs to be renewed every five years. Signs need to meet specific dimensions stated by the government, and not hang dangerously like 'chandeliers' on the streets. The Building Department approximates that around 120,000 signboards in the city are unauthorized, and are working to quickly remove them from our streets.
To preserve the nature of neon signs in Hong Kong, M+
, the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong (part of the West Kowloon Cultural District) has launched an online exhibition titled Mobile M+: NeonSigns.HK
. The exhibition consists of a 'Neon Map' - a live interactive map for users to add pictures of neon signs to exact locations around the city. You can then view, comment and share the pictures of these signs. If you're looking for deeper insight into the history, the online exhibition also features a side by side timeline of the general history of neon signs, placed next to the history of neon signs in Hong Kong and China.
We've selected our favourite images from the sites timeline for your viewing.
Wan Chai, 1950s
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