Neon signs, with their vibrant and inviting colors, were once ubiquitous across the urban environment. The softly-glowing hues are quickly becoming a thing of the past however, as brighter and less-expensive LED technology is now the norm for signage. Recognizing that neon’s existence is fleeting, Melbourne-based photographer Sharon Blance traveled to Hong Kong to capture what’s left of the increasingly lost art.
Blance shot a bevy of photographs culminating in a series titled Hong Kong Neon. The mostly-nighttime images depict the beauty of these gaseous tube signs adjacent to unlit buildings and darkened skies. The visual contrast of these eye-catching designs–which adorn the likes of restaurants and pawnshops–offer a stunning and peaceful tribute to the noble gas.
Hong Kong Neon also serves to document a craft that is on the brink of extinction. With the new, easier-to-maintain alternatives, the city’s Buildings Department is removing hundreds of signs each year for failure to meet code. In addition, the amount of sign makers is waning–there are only a dozen (or so) left with no new apprentices on hand. But their handiwork will not be forgotten, because Blance’s photos will remain as exquisite memories.