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Title: Hong Kong skins : signs and screens in a changing cityscape
Authors: Kwok, BSH 
Coppoolse, A 
Keywords: Facades
Hong Kong
Neon signs
Urban aesthetics
Urban renewal
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Visual communication, 2018, v. 17, no. 1, p. 71-90 How to cite?
Journal: Visual communication 
Abstract: Hong Kong's vertical cityscape presents two significant urban skins: one of explicit hues and one of particular disguise. Both these skins - materialized through neon signage and bamboo scaffolding - communicate visual narratives of Hong Kong that can be understood in their singularity and in their sequence. Neon signs and their distinct colour casts form visual skins of light that are highly particular to Hong Kong. Bamboo scaffolding, in its insistence on disguising both neon signs and entire facades, equally engenders local significance through handwork and skill as it layers up Hong Kong's urban space. Yet, despite its particular Hong Kong image', it increasingly forms a prequel to a disappearance of what could be called a Hong Kong aesthetic. Via scaffolding, old skins disappear and new ones prevail: new skins that increasingly represent not a search for but a permanently lost identity. This visual essay explores images of peeling urban skins that address a perpetual disappearance of significance in light of neoliberal monotony.
ISSN: 1470-3572
DOI: 10.1177/1470357217723210
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