Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Another neon master who contributed to earning Hong Kong the title ‘The Pearl of The Orient’ recently left us.
Master Wan spent his whole life working in neon industry since the 1950s. Though being pocket-sized himself, he specialised in installing the giant neon signs on top of buildings along the Victoria Harbour. His signature works that made himself proud include the humongous Panasonic neon sign that still exists in Wanchai and the ViewSonic one that once perched upon the Wan Chai Pier, with neon tubes depicting the colourful bird-trio logo.
On his sickbed, his mind was still occupied with the thoughts of if the oral history given by him was enough or helpful. He dedicated his whole life to Hong Kong neon and his son recalled, his late father always came alive when reminiscing the signs he helped make.
On the contrary, what we could do was limited when we were aware of his passing. A wreath was all what his son was hoping for - ‘My father would be pleased with some recognition’. On the day of his funeral, we wanted to express our appreciation for Master Wan in person and let his family know his father would not be forgotten. It was held in the funeral parlour that is still with a rare and beautiful neon sign (blue and white traditionally are usually the colours saved for funerals) . Though the arrangement was not intended, we hoped the neon sign could provide Master Wan with some comfort and company for his departure.
As a tribute, we would like to dedicate our first proper post to Master Wan and his family. May he rest in peace and we will do the best we can to ensure his story and life-long effort will be known.