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The Dying of the Light: Bask in the sultry dystopian glow of Hong Kong’s last neon signs

Hong Kong Neon

​Sharon Blance is a photographer, travel junkie, and self-confessed sci-fi nerd – three passions which have converged with awesome synergy in her new photo series, Hong Kong Neon: The Dying Of The Light.

Sharon Blance Hong Kong Neon

All images by ​Sharon Blance.

Bask in the sultry dystopian glow of Hong Kong’s last neon signs whimsically captured in Sharon Blance’s photo series Hong Kong Neon: The Dying Of The Light.

Taking cues from the sultry dystopian colour palettes of Blade Runner and Akira, and seeking to capture the charm of Hong Kong’s diminishing neon landscape, the series saw Blance travel to China in 2016 on a creative pilgrimage.

Hong Kong’s neon age peaked between the 1960s and 80s, and for decades the lurid glow of neon signs dominated the otherwise dreary metropolis. But now that age is dimming as hundreds of signs are removed each year due to strict Building Regulations, replaced by cheaper, more efficient LED lights.

Blance set out to capture the last glimpse of Hong Kong and its neon glory, before it slips into digital sterility.

Inspired by the NEONSIGNS project curated by M+, Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture, Blance’s lens acts as a whimsical portal into a multicoloured world on the brink of extinction.

With the neon wash of the signs contrasting beautifully against a grim backdrop of the city’s building, you are struck with a stoicism, yet also a dooming sense of inevitability. Soon the neon heart of Hong Kong will stop beating, and all that will be left of its legacy is photos like these.

Check out some shots from Hong Kong Neon below, and see the whole series here.

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October 12, 2017

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