About “Mobile M+: NEONSIGNS.HK”
Presented by M+, Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture, NEONSIGNS.HK is an interactive, online exhibition dedicated to exploring, mapping and documenting Hong Kong’s neon signs. The seventh in the Mobile M+ exhibition series, NEONSIGNS.HK invites the public to post images and stories of their favourite neon signs to its Neon Map, and to rediscover these compelling features of the city’s streetscapes from the perspectives of design and urbanism, visual art, cinema, literature and popular culture. 

From 21 March to 30 June, 2014, the NEONSIGNS.HK website will be actively updated with new content, ranging from essays and slideshows to videos, specially-commissioned projects and news about offline tours, talks and workshops. M+ has begun acquiring, for its permanent collection, notable Hong Kong neon signs that are otherwise at risk of being lost. As such, the aim of NEONSIGNS.HK is to enhance the understanding of these fast-disappearing and under-researched fixtures of the city’s urban landscape, while eliciting the public’s help in identifying and contributing knowledge about the neon signs that remain.

As a museum for visual culture, M+ encompasses not just visual art, design and architecture, and moving image — but also their fluidities, intersections and spaces in-between. Moreover, we look globally at this complex but fascinating landscape from where we are in the world: our extraordinary city of Hong Kong. In this context, neon signs are an obvious subject for M+. They lie at the junction of multiple disciplines — as design, typography and craft, and as subjects and devices within visual art and cinema — while being quite literally embedded within the fabric of Hong Kong.

The seventh in the museum’s ongoing Mobile M+ exhibition series, NEONSIGNS.HK is a groundbreaking effort that pays homage to, and enhances our understanding of, the richness of Hong Kong’s neon signs. It explores these fast-disappearing urban landmarks in-depth, through an array of essays, videos, online galleries, slideshows and timelines. Via its crowd-sourced Neon Map, the project invites the public to help document and research Hong Kong’s remaining neon signs. It also tells the story of their unsung heroes — their makers — while contributing to the visual culture of neon signs through specially commissioned works by artists, writers, designers and others. Moreover, NEONSIGNS.HK exemplifies the museum’s effort to expand the traditional boundaries of museum collecting: M+ has begun acquiring otherwise-threatened neon signs for its permanent collection. And as an online exhibition that also reaches into the city with workshops, nighttime bus tours and audio walks, it breaks out in innovative ways from the traditional museum building. (The M+ building is scheduled for completion in late 2017.)

For realising this remarkable endeavour, I would like to congratulate the NEONSIGNS.HK curatorial team, led by Aric Chen (Curator, Design and Architecture), Tobias Berger (Curator, Visual Art) and Stella Fong (Curator, Learning and Interpretation), with Shirley Surya (Assistant Curator, Design and Architecture) and Chloe Chow (Curatorial Assistant). Special thanks are also due to pill & pillow for their extraordinary web design and development, and gardens&co. for designing the project’s visual identity. Last but not least, we are extremely grateful to our NEONSIGNS.HK launch partner, J. Crew, for their generous support.

Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director, M+

About Mobile M+
Mobile M+ is a series of nomadic exhibitions curated by M+. These projects mark the the museum’s effort to explore different possibilities of engaging the public in the run-up to the completion of the museum’s building in 2017. Mobile M+ exhibitions are envisioned and produced as a way of turning the museum’s current, building-less condition into an opportunity by experimenting with formats and contents that go beyond the constraints posed by a single physical space.

Click here to know more about previous Mobile M+ exhibitions.

About M+
M+ is the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and the moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond.

From its vantage point in one of the world’s most dynamic regions, M+ seeks, through its exhibitions, programming and permanent collection, to document the past, inform the present and contribute to the future of visual culture within an ever more interconnected global landscape. With the ultimate aim of exploring new ways of seeing, the museum takes a multidisciplinary approach that both challenges and respects existing boundaries while creating a meeting point for a diversity of perspectives, narratives and audiences.

M+ has already embarked on a number of public programmes and exhibitions, and has begun to assemble its permanent collection, in the run-up to the planned 2017 opening of its 60,000 square-metre building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron with TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners HK, overlooking Victoria Harbour.

To know more about M+, please visit www.westkowloon.hk/mplus.

About West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural developments worldwide. Its vision is to create a vibrant cultural quarter for the city, a vital platform for the local arts scene to interact, develop and collaborate, and major facilities to host and produce world-class exhibitions, performances and arts and cultural events. It will provide 23 hectares of public open space including ample green space, a green avenue and a harbourfront promenade, and will be closely connected with the neighbourhood.

For more information about West Kowloon Cultural District, please visit www.westkowloon.hk.