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Sign of the Times – Last Chance to Bathe in the Glow of Hong Kong’s Neon Heritage

By Stasia Fong 20 June 2014
  M+ Museum’s innovative and interactive exhibition sadly comes to a close at the end of this month. We look at two of the most inspiring additions since our first report in March, and nudge all those who are yet to contribute to get snapping their favourite signs. Neon Map Since going live on March 21st 2014, the Neon Map has seen more than 3,200 images of Hong Kong’s best bright lights uploaded to an interactive online interface. Users are encouraged to add their photos to the map via Instagram or the website’s uploading tool, and cruise around the city on a virtual tour of its neon streets. As their numbers steadily dwindle under accusations of tackiness and the Buildings Department's Validation Scheme for Unauthorised Signboards, we think it’s of utmost importance that the Hong Kong community immortalises their loveliness by adding to the Neon Map by June 30th. The more photos added, the more users can browse, interact, and help to preserve the signs’ presence in our landscape. Simply upload an Instagram photo geotagged with a location and #hkneon, or click here to upload your photo through their website. Wing Shya’s ‘My Neon City’

Click 'Next' below to view the rest of the images from the series.

Mido Café, 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei "We spend our time relaxing behind this sign, playing mahjong in the restaurant after it closes. Our neon sign is our brand. Customers see it and they know how to find us upstairs."

  Next   We all come into contact with neon signs when roaming around the streets of Hong Kong after dark, but do we ever really think about how they add to our daily lives? In My Neon City, Wing Shya captures the world of the Hong Kong citizens who live and work in the glow of our city’s neon signs. His photographs reveal neon signs from the opposite side – behind and within. Unlike what you might assume, in most cases the subjects report that the signs help to facilitate business, or even add a sense of calm to their homes. Christopher Doyle’s ‘Filming in the Neon World’ Approaching the presence of neon in Hong Kong from a completely different perspective, award-winning director Christopher Doyle speaks of his experiences in Filming in the Neon World in this video, describing neon as a person, with definitive qualities that make it unique. He insists that neon adds to the ambience of his films, creating a certain shining beauty and unique glow around people, especially women. According to Doyle, neon is part of the Hong Kong experience: “Our space is a neon space, it’s a light space, it’s a space of energy that is electric…it’s the energy of Hong Kong.”

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Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Stasia Fong is a freelance writer with dreams of breaking into the television industry and executive produce her own television show.