Sign of the Time



Varsity is an award-winning magazine written, edited and designed by students of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 


As the author of Fading of Hong Kong Neon Lights – the Archive of Hong Kong Visual Culture, a book which photo-documents remaining signs in Hong Kong, Kwok has conducted comprehensive research on the city’s vanishing neon signs. “When you look up at the sky, you see a unique view created by neon signs,” he adds.

Thanks to the lack of restrictions, neon signs with a variety of shapes, sizes and designs shaped Hong Kong’s distinctive neon landscape. “Japan has a strict policy on neon signs in terms of their sizes, so they’re not as unique and pretty as the ones in Hong Kong,” Kwok says.

Kwok also points out neon signs need to be preserved: “What’s worthy about neon signs is that they connect the community and the people.”

He adds that some shop owners are willing to keep neon signs though the maintenance cost is high as they mark long history of their shops. “It’s like keeping a promise with the community. Neon signs symbolize honour, respect, and credibility,” Kwok says.

Period17 Mar 2020

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