‘Neon of the Month’ Photo Competition

Photo: David

Shortcut : June's Winner | May's Winner | April's Winner | About the Competition | Terms and Conditions

To celebrate the unique beauty of Hong Kong’s neon signs as well as document and preserve our neon heritage, we are now calling for entries for our 'Neon of the Month' photo competition. Enter for a chance to win a Nikon COOLPIX P600 Compact Digital Camera!

Each month till end of June, the M+ curators will be selecting their best photo of a neon sign. The judges will make a selection based not just on the quality of image, but also the originality and strength of the story or description of the signs.


'Neon of the Month' Photo Competition (June)

In the last month we have received over 200 entries, showcasing the unique beauty of Hong Kong’s neon signs. Congratulations to our winner tannhahuser for winning a digital camera from our sponsor Nikon!


Photo by tannhahuser
Chun Kwan Temple

(translation) Cone incense. Light smoke. Steel roof. Neon light.
Neon generally appears in the heart of the city, yet this sign chose to sits before this quiet temple.
This should be the only temple in Hong Kong that uses neon sign as name plate, yet it represents Hong Kong’s unique temperament and culture.

Honourable Mentions

Photo by Heyman Chan
(translation) I was filming this remaining Hong Kong style café with my friend. The four characters “Café Matchbox” of the neon sign stood out on the white wall. Having two distinctively different styles, the Chinese typography was handwritten and the English was round and simple, reflecting the cultural mix of the territory. The film gave the picture so much nostalgia.

Photo by lisa laible
Fish Tail, Lyndhurst Terrace

I pass by this old neon sign (which i affectionately call 'city fish') so often and have captured it on film many times. although the first photo i took is probably my favorite, i am still quite taken by the giant sea image - especially in contrast to its rigid surroundings - and still manage to feel the importance of it and it's attraction. i am very glad that i have photographed it prior to the renovation of the building across the street, now a ghastly purple.



Photo by Wayne To
Lee Kung Man

(translation) Traditionally, the Chinese characters on neon signs are made from calligraphy sketches. Every stroke demonstrates the exquisite craftsmanship of the neon maker. From the first stroke until the last stroke, the four characters of this neon sign are so beautiful that nothing like the LED sign on the left of the photo can compare to.

Kai Kee Mahjong

Photo by naattung
(translation) Pawn shops are disappearing in Hong Kong. Eventually they exist not of offering loans to people, but as containers of Hong Kong’s history and past.

Kai Kee Mahjong

Photo by Cherry Sam
(translation) Going out of business
The regulation of neon signs means that some historical signs will never be able to shed their light through the night again.


'Neon of the Month' Photo Competition (May)

We have received over 140 entries to our May ‘Neon of the Month’ photo competition, and here is our winner. Congratulations to Au Chin Ki!



Photo by Au Chin Ki
Mongkok Mahjong Entertainment

(translation) Gambling is prohibited in Hong Kong but mahjong playing is a traditional pastime for HK people so Mahjong schools were allowed in Hong Kong. There are fewer Mahjong schools now because of the license restriction and the relevant regulations, i.e. the number of neon signs for Mahjong schools has declined too.


Honourable Mentions

Photo by Joey Kwok
(translation) No. 716 Shanghai Street is an old tenement building. The apartment above is rented by an artist who uses it as a performance space. Downstairs is Tai Yan Pawnshop which opens during the day and at night its neon lights up the empty Shanghai Street.

Photo by Hung Chi Wan
Weaving a Thousand Hearts
(translation) The reflection of the iconic neon lights of Bank of China after the rainstorm is really beautiful.


Photo by GundamLam
An Old Blessing
“Fuk”(fortune) is an auspicious word for Chinese people. It feels so right on the iconic neon sign bringing people blessings up in the air.

Photo by Chloe
A Love for Neon in the Rain
(translation) A silent night, a rainy night, a neon soon disappears, a lonely passerby. They make a beautiful picture but yet so deserted and lost.


Don’t miss the chance to be the next winner! Submit your neon sign photos to [email protected] on or before 25 June Midnight (Hong Kong time 00:00) to enter the Neon of the Month for June.


'Neon of the Month' Photo Competition (April)

We have received over 70 entries to our April ‘Neon of the Month’ photo competition, and here is our winner. Congratulations to Law Ching!



Photo by Law Ching
Sham Shui Po near Prince Edward

In the photo, there are two Chinese words, ‘精工' and ‘SEIKO’, which is a Japanese company that manufactures and sells watches. From the photo, with the neon signs and the reflection of the street view, you can actually feel the ambience of old districts in Hong Kong.


Honourable Mentions

Photo by tannhahuser
Wing Po Pawnshop
(translation) When you see “an inverted bat holding a coin in its mouth” (Bat means Fortune in Chinese), you will immediately know that is a pawnshop. If you take a closer look at the pawnshop, you will find that the Chinese traditional culture is actually quite sophisticated.

Appreciating neon signs is no difference than appreciating Chinese calligraphy. Every dots and strokes of the character in the sign contains craftsmanship and the hard work and emotions of the craftsman. The importance of the outline of the neon characters and the order of the strokes is just as complex as those cartoon characters signs. The moment that the electricity passes through the circuit is similar to dropping the ink onto the paper — filling the darkness with neon lights in the sky.

Photo by Bona Liu
Neon signs on Portland Street, Mongkok
(translation) Neon story: Portland Street in Mongkok, Kowloon has a long history of being a cluster of sensual entertainment, neon signs are therefore everywhere.



Photo by Janet Susan Reading
Mido Muse
Neon through Venetian Blinds - Screening Private & Public worlds.

Photo by 朱漢強
Tai Lin and TSL Jewellery
(translation) To illustrate: In respond to the overpaid government officials who act like “recorders”, we, who are unable to change the status quo can only make political black humor through these colorful neon signs!


Neon of the Month Photo Competition

How to enter?
Send photo of an outdoor neon sign with a story or description, the address of the sign, together with your name and how you want to be credited and email to [email protected].

When is the closing date for submission each month?
The closing dates for the April, May and June 'Neon of the Month' are midnight (Hong Kong time 00:00) on 25 April, 25 May and 25 June 2014 respectively.

Contribute to our Neon Map
Subject to moderation, entries to 'Neon of the Month' will be eligible to be added to the NEONSIGNS.HK neon map.

Winners and Prizes
We will post the winning photo on the 30th of each month here, NEONSIGNS.HK website as well as the project Facebook page, and the winner will be contacted by email within 10 days to collect the prize. The winner will receive a Nikon COOLPIX P600 Compact Digital Camera, generously donated by Nikon, our Prize Sponsor of 'Neon of the Month'.

Prize Sponsor



Terms and Conditions for “Neon of the Month”(Competition)

Closing Date for Entries: midnight on 25 April, 25 May and 25 June, 2014 respectively

Announcement of Winning Entries: at noon on 30 April, 30 May and 30 June, 2014 respectively on our website www.westkowloon.hk/neon

1. Eligibility :

  • The Competition is open to all residents of HK and the winners will be required to provide proof of residency (e.g. identity card or passport in order to claim the prize)
  • Employees of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (Authority), their families or any person associated with the Competition (as determined by the Authority) are not allowed to take part in the Competition.
  • Participant will be deemed to abide by the terms and conditions of the Competition by submission of an entry

2. Prize for the Winning Entry

  • a Nikon COOLPIX P600 Compact Digital Camera (worth HK$4,280) to be provided by Nikon
  • One winner of the Competition will be selected each month

3. Adjudication:

  • Judges: 4 members from the Organizer of “Mobile M+: NEONSIGNS.HK” and a representative from Nikon Hong Kong Limited.
  • Judging criteria:
    • Quality of photographic image
    • Originality in depiction of neon signs
    • Strength of content
  • the decision of the judges will be final and conclusive

4. How to Submit an Entry

  • Entries should be submitted by email to [email protected]
  • No postal entries will be accepted
  • Late entries will not be accepted
  • The Authority accepts no responsibilities for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt
  • Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties
  • All entries must reach the above email address prior to the Closing Date for Entries
  • Entries must be of neon sign(s), that currently exist(s) in Hong Kong, and must be visible outdoor from the street
  • There is no limit to the number of photographs per entry, nor the number of entry per person

5. Requirements

  • By submitting their entry(ies), participants shall be deemed to have warranted that all entry(ies) submitted for the Competition are original work(s) and the entrant owns copyright to the entry(ies)

6. Copyright

  • Copyright in all images submitted for this Competition remains with the respective entrants. However, each entrant agrees to grant a worldwide, irrevocable, royalty free, perpetual licence to the Authority to use the image to promote the Competition and anything in relation to the neonsigns.hk project.
  • Entries used for promotion purposes will be credited provided that the entrants have submitted the credit name with their entries
  • The entries will be retained by the Authority and will not be returned to the entrants
  • Subject to the decision of the organizer, entries may be added on to the neonsigns.hk website.

7. Notification of Winner

  • The winner of each month’s Competition will be notified by email within ten days of the Closing Date for Entries each month. The winner will also be announced on www.westkowloon.hk/neon, www.neonsigns.hk and the project Facebook page. The winners may be required to take part in the publicity relating to the Competition [e.g. taking a photo with the prize].

8. Prize Collection

  • Prizes will be collected at the Authority’s office upon proof of identity, residency status together with the print out of the notification email

9. Organizer

  • The Authority is the organizer of the Competition and it will ensure the Competition is conducted in a fair and just manner. The decision of the Authority on the conduct of the Competition is final and binding on the participants.