Get up close with the neon signs! This dynamic showcase pays tribute to the skill, craftsmanship, audacity, competitiveness, precision, and can-do mindset of Hong Kong’s legendary neon masters.
Immerse yourself in the colourful and dynamic atmosphere of Hong Kong’s neon era at Vital Signs, the must-see exhibition for anyone interested in the history of Hong Kong neon signs.
Vital Signs at Duplex Studio in Block 01
The Tai Kwun exhibition showcasing Hong Kong’s neon signs spans two separate spaces, starting at the Duplex Studio in Block 01.
At Duplex Studio in Block 01, visitors can experience the sheer size and audacity of over 20 neon signs, including those conserved and recommissioned by Tetra Neon Exchange, now on public display for the first time.
Vital Signs at Laundry Steps
In addition to the exhibition at Block 01, the Vital Signs neon lights exhibition continues at Laundry Steps. This area is transformed into a riotous electrified streetscape crowned by another cluster of 5 authentic and original Hong Kong neon signs.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Hong Kong’s neon era by witnessing the authentic neon signs. These signs will transport you back in time to the 80s and 90s, where you can witness the night vibes of Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay.
The streets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island were filled with distinctive canopies of dazzling, blinking, multi-colored neon signs that competed for attention, creating a unique visual identity for the city.
This iconic image is instantly recognisable around the world, capturing the vitality, excitement, and opportunity that drew people to Hong Kong in a single polaroid shot.
Experience the cultural treasure of Hong Kong’s neon heritage and explore the dynamic streetscapes of the city’s past.
If you were a tourist visiting Hong Kong two decades ago, you would have collected a bunch of leaflets offering night-time walking tours along sections of Nathan Road, where most neon signs were located.
However, over the past two decades, thousands of authentic Hong Kong neon signs have disappeared from the streets of Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Aberdeen, Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, Yau Ma Tei, and Sham Shui Po.
At almost every occasion, these iconic neon signs were demolished once a Removal Notice is given to the sign owners. Due to the prohibitive costs of upgrading supporting structures, sign owners often opt for the cheapest pathway to compliance, which is demolition.
Undoubtedly, this trend has led to the loss of many cultural treasures and a significant part of Hong Kong’s visual identity. Each component part of the neon signs ultimately ending up in a landfill or as scrap metal.
After the exhibition, be sure not to miss Neon Metropolis Workshop, a collaborative community installation inspired by the Vital Signs exhibition! Conceptualised and led by Colour My World, the visual art workshop is for families to get creative together.
Come along as a pair of a child aged above 6 and a grandparent/parent, they might have some special memories of Hong Kong’s neon-lit past!
Location: Ideas Studio, LG2/F, Block 01 Tai Kwun, Hong Kong
Date & Time: 11 JUL – 3 SEP, 2023 Every Tuesday and Sunday 2pm-3:15pm & 4pm-5:15pm
The information provided in this blog is subject to change without notice. Readers are advised to contact the product or service provider for the most updated information. Foto Collectiv has no liability on the accuracy and reliability of the information contained herein.