Neon Lights in Hong Kong nostalgia – recent exhibition
Hong Kong’s neon-drenched streets were just one aspect of his home that Justin Wong missed while studying in Canada.
A lover of cinema, he would become nostalgic for the city whose urban landscape has been beautifully evoked and captured in films such as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express (1994)(1)
As a fast-growing metropolis, Hong Kong always arouses people’s longing and nostalgia for the past. For nearly a century, the flickering neon lights up the night of Hong Kong and also interweaves the unique street corner scenery. As early as the 1920s, businessmen in the city began to install various neon lights on the upper floors of the tenement buildings, attracting customers with creative and colourful lights. It was not until after World War II that neon signs were even more prosperous in Hong Kong. At that time, many factories and workshops competed to produce beautifully designed and exquisitely crafted glass tubes, which made Hong Kong a bustling night scene with brilliant lights.
As the times change, more affordable alternative products such as LEDs have appeared on the market. Hong Kong’s neon lights have also evolved from large-scale production of large neon light factories to hand-made by several neon light masters. However, in the past few decades, famous directors such as Wong Kar-wai and Ridley Scott have brought Hong Kong’s unique urban landscape to the eyes of global audiences through the lens. These classic film images have also inspired a new generation of artists, designers, and historians to try their best to preserve the neon colours in the city.(2)
- Shout Art House and Gallery
This article was first posted on 19th February 2022.
Related Indhhk articles: