Presented in association with
Tetra Neon Exchange (TNX)
Vital Signs is an exhibition that celebrates Hong Kong’s unique and distinctive visual identity through its iconic neon heritage and pays tribute to the skill, craftsmanship, audacity, competitiveness, precision, and can-do mindset that define this vibrant art form.
Visitors to Vital Signs will be able to experience and appreciate up close the neon signs, master craftsmen, and vibrant streetscapes that were once synonymous with Hong Kong’s visual culture. The exhibition spans two entirely separate spaces within Tai Kwun, commencing in the Duplex Studio in Block 01 where visitors can marvel at the sheer size and audacity of over 20 neon signs, many of which have been conserved and recommissioned by Tetra Neon Exchange and are on public display for the first time.
The neon tour then continues at Laundry Steps, which are transformed into a riotous electrified streetscape crowned by another cluster of 5 authentic and original Hong Kong neon signs. The exhibition highlights the flair and imagination, as well as the ingenious problem-solving of Hong Kong's legendary neon masters, and invites visitors to step back into the Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay of the 80s and 90s, where distinctive canopies of dazzling, blinking, multi-coloured neon signs in Chinese characters (and occasionally English) competed for attention in the streets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island – an image instantly recognizable around the world, capturing in a single polaroid shot the vitality, excitement, and opportunity that drew the world to Hong Kong.