Photographic Catalog of Hong Kong’s Neon Signs

In the 1980s and 90s, Hong Kong saw the height of its iconic neon glow, which has plunged the streets of Hong Kong island and Kowloon into an ocean of radiant color and has famously become the backdrop and inspiration for so many iconic movies, from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, to Ghost in the Shell and Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express and Fallen Angels. A Hong Kong nightscape without its neon lights is as much a Hong Kong, as the city’s gritty side streets would be without its steaming, oily street food kitchens, which together with the light of neon have imprinted themselves as the visual landscape of nighttime Hong Kong.

With the dawn of LED and ever-stricter rules about safety by the local government, the painstakingly hand-crafted neon signs that have once dominated Hong Kong’s landscape, are now becoming the relics of a time that may soon be long forgotten. The nighttime glow of Hong Kong may still remain — perhaps even brighter now with the gleaming light of LED — but the charm of the neons’ soft glow is destined to merely become a hazy memory of our nostalgia.

A FADING GLOW is an attempt to document the last remaining neon signs across Hong Kong in a sort-of neon-catalogue, thus trying to preserve the iconic visual landscape of the city to for the future. This project also looks into the impact of the changing visual landscape of Hong Kong, and how this change may impact the lives of locals, tourism and the image of Hong Kong itself.