Making Hong Kong’s neon signs

Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture is currently hosting an online exhibition dedicated to the city’s neon signage. NeonSigns.hk is also showing an accompanying documentary on several of the signmakers fighting to making a living in the industry

Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture is currently hosting an online exhibition dedicated to the city’s neon signage. NeonSigns.hk is also showing an accompanying documentary on several of the signmakers fighting to making a living in the industry…

The M+ museum has received over 2,000 photographs submitted by fans of the citys neon typography and signage as part of its ongoing survey which sets out to map and document this colourful Hong Kong tradition.

Yet, LEDS are killing the industry, as one of the signmakers says in the film, so the documentary is a timely reminder of how fragile this industry currently is. When neon signs fail, one of the makers recalls, they are not replaced using the same materials.

In the film the signmakers discuss how they construct the signs, how different businesses require different kinds of traditional calligraphy, and how the full spectrum of colours can be achieved using only glass tubing, neon and argon gas, and the right amount of powder.

Produced by Cpak Studio, the film is part of the online exhibition, NeonSigns.hk, curated by Aric Chen and Tobias Berger, with Shirley Surya and Chloe Chow.

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NAO (National Audit Office)