Friday, September 18, 2015

Hong Kong in Miniature: bright lights, big city (works by Tony Lai)

In my first post on the Hong Kong in Miniature exhibition (on display at Westfield Pitt Street until Sunday), Pepper commented on the illuminated sign on Louise Chan's shoe shop.

Which got me thinking that I should do a post on all the really interesting use of light (and movement) I saw in the exhibition. (A note if you're reading this through an RSS feed: this post contains video. You probably need to come on down and read it live on the blog...)

1. Tenement building

Model Hong Kong street scene with neon lights .
Tony has been an architectural model builder for 26 years, and it shows in the detail of his work. He began making miniature models as a hobby in 2007, and believes that including movement and light in his pieces adds to the audience's appreciation of the work.

I know I could have examined this work for hours, noticing all the different lit signs and rooms in the buildings, and understanding the stories behind how the model was set up.
Model Hong Kong office building and street.
The lighting on the work is even more amazing at night: luckily for us the organisers allowed me to share some evening shots they provided with you...
Model Hong Kong office building, lit up at night.
Photo courtesy of the Joyful Miniature Association

2. Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

Model Hong Kong office building and street.
This building is part of a bigger scene, showing a traditional dance performed during the mid-autumn festival. Once again, I was impressed by the detail and use of light in the scene, which is shown below with some people for scale,
Two women standing in front of a model Hong Kong street.
(and with some scale people!)
Figures on a model Hong Kong street.

3. Hong Kong salon

This 1/12 scale hair salon is based on the traditional barbers that used to be found in Hong Kong. The rotating barber's poll is driven by a slow motor and has over ten LED lights at the top to light it.
Exterior of a miniature Hong Kong barber shop.
Interior of a miniature Hong Kong barber shop.

3. Hong Kong herbal tea shop

Interior of a miniature Hong Kong herbal tea shop.

The highlight of this 1/12 scale scene for me was the working TV mounted high up on the cafe wall.

3. Hong Kong cafe

Exterior of a miniature Hong Kong cafe.
Another 1/12 scale scene, with awesome neon signage outside
Interior of a miniature Hong Kong cafe.
and a light TV and clock, and working fan inside.
Once again, thanks to the organisers for allowing me to reproduce this night-time version:
Exterior of a miniature Hong Kong cafe at night.
Photo courtesy of the Joyful Miniature Association

Tony set up a workshop in 2013 to teach people about Miniature Arts (I feel the sudden need to visit Hong Kong, don't you?), and can be found on Facebook.
The Hong Kong in Miniature exhibition is on at Westfield Pitt Street during trading hours until September 20.  The final demonstration is on Sunday at 3pm, when Li Loi Yun will showcase how she makes mini plants.

#HongKonginMiniature #MiniHongKong

1 comment :

Pepper Mitcheson said...

I'm really fascinated by lighting in miniature. I think the dollhouse companies have a lot of catching up to do with, traditionally, train modellers etc. There are so many advances in technology that neon signs, animated billboards and the like are a reality, though they haven't filtered through to the mainstream dollhouse shops yet.
Thank you for the fab post, I really enjoyed it =0)