The Archive of Hand-Painted Neon Sign Artworks
The archive of hand-painted neon sign artworks begins with a generous donation of over 700 pieces of neon sign drawings by a local neon sign factory with over 60 years of history. We wish to establish this archive to introduce people of Hong Kong and the rest of the world to these valuable and historical artworks that embodied Hong Kong’s vernacular visual culture, aesthetics and societal development from the 1950s to 1970s.
Kwok Sze-hang is the Associate Professor from the School of Design and the Leader of Information Design Lab at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Kwok is experienced in multimedia and advertising design and production. His design and academic interests span across information design, user-centred design and visual culture in art and design. Kwok is also very keen on visual ethnography. His publications include I am a Street Ethnologist: Street Culture in Fa Yuen Street (2017), Fading of Hong Kong Neon Lights – The Archive of Hong Kong Visual Culture (2018), and City of Scripts – The Craftsmanship of Vernacular lettering in Hong Kong (2020).
Revisiting Local Cultural and Visual Heritage through Neon Sign Artworks
“The Archive of Hand-Painted Neon Sign Artworks” is an online archive made up of over 700 pieces of neon sign artworks. The archive is constructed by documenting, categorising and digitising the artworks obtained from a local neon sign factory with over 60 years of history. It is designed for cross-platform browsing, offering an extensive range of information on the history and making of neon sign, the craftsmanship and neon sign masters’ stories in the local industry. The artworks offer insights into Hong Kong’s historical, visual and cultural development, hence the archive is constructed for the access of the general public, as well as professionals and academics for further studies on the history of Hong Kong neon sign and its diversity. In addition, a seminar will be held for the public to further understand the story of neon sign artworks.