19 Tones’ “Neon H-ART” Showcases Hong Kong’s Cinematic Nighttime Glow

All images by 19 Tones. Used with Creative Commons permission.

A trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without spending at least one night out in the streets to photograph its iconic, vibrant neon lights. Though the number of actual neon signboards steadily decreases as days go by, the city doesn’t get any dimmer. To this day, they continue to inspire awe among those that see them.

Neon H-Art is a series of nighttime photos taken by a Moscow-based visual artist, content creator, and art photographer who identifies himself as 19 Tones during a trip to Hong Kong. While a couple of photos follow the quintessential Hong Kong neon signboards shots, most actually provide fresh perspectives of the city with the photographer shooting them from above (from buildings, we presume), with the lights making the city seemingly glow from below, and right at street level.

19 Tones was also able to encapsulate the fast pace of the city by making use of long exposure to capture the lights of motors speeding by.

But perhaps the most remarkable photo in this bunch is the one of the brightly lit and bustling Temple Street Night Market. After 19 Tones had inverted it, he remarked, “It reminds me of the ceiling of the future.

With Neon H-Art, 19 Tones offers a side of Hong Kong that outsiders don’t usually see.

Of course, although neon is closely associated with Hong Kong, it’s pretty popular in other East Asian cities, too. Japan and South Korea, for example, have many streets illuminated by the glow of these lights after dark. In Neon Dreams, Matthieu Bühler delivered dreamy snapshots of Tokyo that could easily be mistaken as something out of a movie or a documentary.

With the aid of fractal prisms, Steve Roe was able to create trippy photos of the streets of Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Macau. And in Glow, Xavier Portela takes things up a notch by printing his photos of Tokyo and Hong Kong on brushed aluminum plates to give them a metallic finish. Don’t forget to visit 19 Tones’ Behance portfolio to see more of his work, as well as Neon H-ART to see the rest of the series.