Carol Gandey, director of Gandey World Class Productions, recently accepted an invite to a week long special trade mission to promote UK businesses in Hong Kong, China. As one of the only production companies on the roster, Carol hopes to capitalise on the emerging and prospering cultural market in Hong Kong by showcasing Gandeys unique productions and world famous creative direction. She arrived last Saturday, taking her business acumen and keen creative insight with her along with the marketing materials for several of our more famous productions including Cirque Surreal, Spirit of the Horse, Chinese State Circus, Ice Shows, Gandeys Thrill Circus and our unique Cabaret Shows.
Hong Kong Skyline as seen from Kowloon Bay
A selection of some of the more famous Gandey Productions
An interesting cultural initiative which has been set up by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) in Hong Kong, which Carol has learned of during her visit, aims to highlight the cultural heritage of Hong Kong's famous neon signs. The interactive on-line exhibition is dubbed NEONSIGNS.HK and is presented by M+, Hong Kong's museum for visual culture. The main aim of the project is to celebrate these iconic pieces of the Hong Kong city landscape by exploring, mapping and documenting the neon signs through the on-line medium accessible to all.
Neon signs in Hong Kong.
Last month it was announced that the project had teamed up with the Google Cultural Institute, an amazing on-line initiative started by Google to bring together millions of the worlds most precious artifacts together in one huge on-line depository, a virtual museum. This museum would now play host to two insightful digital exhibits consisting of over 12 street views, 150 new and rare photos, videos, documentaries and M+ sign collection itself. These truly interesting exhibits are called Electric City - The Neons of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Neon Signs - Then and Now, you can click the respective links to view them.
One of the pictures from the Then & Now exhibit showcasing the striking differences of the past and present Argyle Street in the Kowloon Cultural District.
The the preservation of these signs in the digital world is of particular importance as in recent years development pressures, government regulations and changes in attitude has transformed many areas of Hong Kong in neon free zones, as can be seen in the above image.These neon signs, therefore, represent a dying culture in Hong Kong as LCD signage begins to populate the once neon bathed streets. However, through the efforts of M+, The West Kowloon Cultural District Initiative and now the Google Cultural Institute these culturally iconic signs will be preserved.
An update of Carols time in Hong Kong will be given in next weeks blog.