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TETRA NEON EXCHANGE (TNX) 非牟利機構<霓虹交滙>

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

A new era has arrived for Hong Kong neon industry, neon conservation and the Tsui Wah neon signs

(Please scroll down for the Chinese version)

Neon was not a local invention but some known evidence shows it has taken root in the city for almost a century. Hong Kong is magical in such a way that we can make almost anything foreign our own. Neon is no exception. Before the computer age, every procedure of neon sign making was done by hand, including the design, neon tube bending, metal box making, installation etc. This qualifies neon-sign making as a craft and each neon sign is a piece of art in its own right. The compact nature of the city also gave birth to its signature sea of neon while the intertwining of neon signs created an iconic image of Hong Kong.

We have enjoyed neon light for decades but it is not uncommon for many of us to be oblivious to the people and stories behind it. As a non-profit organization, TNX strives to bring the faces of the unsung heroes to the forefront for them to be seen and recognised, as one of our major objectives.

Cha Chaan Teng 茶餐廳 is another imperative component to the local culture while Tsui Wah Group 翠華 (TW) has been one of the industry leaders and a household name among both locals and tourists. We TNX set out to save as many neon signs left across the city as possible and those three beautiful signs on Parkes Street awaiting a good home undoubtedly were a monumental place to start.

The ground-breaking conservation project officially commenced back in May 2020 when we proactively approached TW. We earned their trust and the group was happy to put the signs they treasure dearly in our hands. Since then, every step of the way, TW has been nothing but supportive of this initiative that we spearheaded. Their Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lee Kun Lun, Kenji even participated in our meeting as well as the actual sign removal.

As our photos show, we opted for an unprecedented and ceremonious way to have the main sign (8.5m x 4.5m) removed on 15 Aug 2020. We did not only keep it intact but also lit during the removal. With our deliberately thought-provoking effort, we hope more people could reflect on why we would treat a neon sign with such respect even in an economic downturn. As a matter of fact, a neon sign like that is a rare find worldwide and more of us should be waking up to its cultural significance.

Conducted by Mr. Lee Kun Lun Kenji, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tsui Wah Group, the unconventional light-off ceremony symbolised the pivotal metamorphosis that the neon signs, the Hong Kong neon industry and conservation as well as TW are all going through. With more funding in place, TNX will hire local neon masters for restoration work in the near future and the signs will shine once again even brighter and better!

Professionals and sponsors in different fields joined hands to convert this costly and technically challenging vision into a reality. For that, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to 翠華餐廳 Tsui Wah Restaurant, AP Rentals, CKM Asia Limited, China One Construction Ltd., The Public Light Bus Merchants' United Association, Power Distribution Systems Ltd, Tak Shing Neonlight Co., Fallout Media, JOHN LEUNG Photography and Mamaday 嘛嘛地.

More information to follow. We look forward to hearing from you, especially if you would like us to conserve your neon sign.



非牟利機構<霓虹交滙>


為香港霓虹業丶霓虹保育及翠華霓虹招牌的新時代揭開序幕

霓虹非本地發明,但有已知資料顯示,霓虹由外國傳入並植根香港已接近一世紀。香港就是有種能耐吸收外來文化再將之轉化成滿載香港特色的版本,霓虹便是其中具代表性的例子。特别在電腦化時代來臨之前,製造室外霓虹招牌所牽涉的每項工序如圖樣設計、屈管丶鐡箱製作及安裝等均是由人手處理。稱之為手工藝可謂當之無愧,每一個霓虹招牌也是藝術品。與此同時,香港稠密的環境亦造就霓虹招牌海的誕生,招牌縱橫交錯亂中有序的情境亦成為香港經典印象之一。

多年來這城市享受了霓虹的璀燦亮麗,但不少人對幕後的人和事並沒有太在意。如今<霓虹交滙>致力改變現況,讓更多人認識這些被長期忽視的無名英雄,令他們得到應得的尊重。

茶餐廳亦是構成本地文化的重要一環,翠華集團不僅是業界翹楚,亦是本地市民及遊客皆熟悉的品牌。<霓虹交滙>能以那三個豎立於白加士街靜待伯樂的翠華招牌作起點,着手拯救保留城中剩下的霓虹招牌,更別具意義。

這創新的保育項目正式在今年五月展開,我們主動接觸翠華集團以作商討,在了解細節後對方非常支持此計劃,並把他們重視的三個霓虹招牌捐出並交托給我們保育。過去三個月來旗下各部門均提供多方面的協助及配合,現任集團執行董事兼行政總裁李堃綸先生更親身出席會議及見證招牌移除工程。

由相中可見,我們於2020年8月15日當晚選擇了以史無前例及隆重莊嚴的方式去移除其中最大的霓虹招牌 一一不單保留整個接近9米高x5米濶的招牌,還特意使其在徐徐降落的過程維持亮着的狀態。

事實上,現今此等霓虹招牌已屬罕見,全港甚至全球也難以找到近似的類型。我們在客觀經濟不明朗的情況下仍堅持此獨特的移除方式,是期望能令公眾反思香港霓虹招牌的價值及喚醒大眾對其文化意義的關注。

當晚我們亦進行了一個反傳統而別具象徵意義的關燈儀式,由翠華現任集團執行董事兼行政總裁李堃綸先生主禮,為其霓虹招牌關燈,代表霓虹招牌、香港霓虹業、香港霓虹保育及翠華集團皆進行關鍵性蜕變,有如毛蟲結蛹化蝶一樣。我們計劃在未來有更充裕的資源情況下聘請本地霓虹師傅為得以保留的霓虹招牌進行修復,令此文化瑰寶以另一方式再次發光發亮!

最後,此項創新的工程具挑戰性,需要不少人力物力才能完成。多得各界的專家通力合作及贊助令此構思能夠落實及成真,我們特此鳴謝以下公司及機構 (排名不分先後):

翠華餐廳 Tsui Wah Restaurant AP Rentals 陳錦敏亞洲有限公司 中一建築有限公司 香港九龍新界公共專線小巴聯合總商會 Power Distribution Systems Ltd 德成霓虹光管 Fallout Media JOHN LEUNG Photography Mamaday 嘛嘛地

更多有關資料容後提供。我們期待大家的回應及分享,特別是如閣下需要我們協助保育貴店的霓虹招牌。


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