Exhibition: DESIGNING THE SPECTACLE—Pre-Digital Graphic Design Practices

Hong Kong’s abundance of signs, advertisements, and commodities has an illuminating history. The post-WWII era especially saw Hong Kong become not only a major export centre in East Asia but also a unique spectacle of consumption. In those decades, also the local graphic design industry adapted to the changing market—an industry that to an important extent defined the territory’s spectacle. 

Often seen as a distant overload of images, Hong Kong’s spectacle was largely handmade. Every coloured tube of neon light, every tagline in each print ad had been carefully and manually designed. The exhibition highlights the practices that were involved in the designing of Hong Kong’s spectacle of signs and advertisements. This is a long-overdue probe into the craft behind the image.