Photos Immortalize Hong Kong’s Bright Neon Signs Before They All Disappear

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.

Sharon Blance: Website | Instagram
via [Creative Boom]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content