M+ hosts an interactive exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
 
M+ hosts an interactive exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
jul 31, 2014

M+ hosts an interactive exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs

M+ hosts an interactive exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
neon signs on portland street, mongkok
photo by bona liu

 

 

 
over the past three months, M+ — hong kong’s museum for visual culture in the west kowloon cultural district — has collected over 4,000 photos and personal stories of neon signs from members of the public. using the snapshots, the museum is currently hosting an interactive online exhibition celebrating the historic signage system, in the effort to preserve these rapidly disappearing facets of the regions’ vibrant urban landscape. simultaneously, the digital platform invites the public to crowd-map their images, allowing them to interface with the artworks directly and instantly locate their position in the streetscape. alongside curatorially-produced essays, videos, slideshows and artist commissions, the archive collectively forms a compelling neon trail of hong kong for both visitors to the bustling metropolis and its residents. 

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
image courtesy of neonsigns.hk

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
image courtesy of neonsigns.hk

 


christopher doyle: filming in the neon world
video courtesy of wkcda

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
fish tail, lyndhurst terrace
photo by lisa laible

 

 

‘I pass by this old neon sign (which I affectionately call ‘city fish’) so often and have captured it on film many times. although the first photo i took is probably my favorite, I am still quite taken by the giant sea image – especially in contrast to its rigid surroundings – and still manage to feel the importance of it and it’s attraction. I am very glad that iIhave photographed it prior to the renovation of the building across the street, now a ghastly purple.’

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
image courtesy of neonsigns.hk

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
chun kwan temple
photo by tannhahuser
translation: cone incense. light smoke. steel roof. neon light.

 

 

‘neon generally appears in the heart of the city, yet this sign chose to sits before this quiet temple. this should be the only temple in hong kong that uses neon sign as name plate, yet it represents hong kong’s unique temperament and culture.’

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
image by david / courtesy of neonsigns.hk

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
wing po pawnshop
photo by tannhahuser

 

 

‘when you see ‘an inverted bat holding a coin in its mouth’ (bat means fortune in chinese), you will immediately know that is a pawnshop. if you take a closer look at the pawnshop, you will find that the chinese traditional culture is actually quite sophisticated.’

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
(left) tai lin and tsl jewellery
photo by 朱漢強
(right) mido muse
photo by janet susan reading

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
photo by cherry sam
translation: going out of business

 

 

‘the regulation of neon signs means that some historical signs will never be able to shed their light through the night again.’

M+ hosts an online exhibition mapping hong kong’s neon signs
sham shui po near prince edward
photo by law ching

 

‘in the photo, there are two chinese words, ‘精工’ and ‘seiko’, which is a japanese company that manufactures and sells watches. from the photo, with the neon signs and the reflection of the street view, you can actually feel the ambiance of old districts in hong kong.’

 


the making of neon signs
video courtesy of wkcda

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