Hong Kong

Mark Panckhurst / Ivona Tau

Mark Panckhurst is a New Zealand photographer based in Hong Kong. Living in Asia for 25 years, Mark has travelled throughout China, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. He is known for his large format oblique architectural polyptiches and his photography of Hong Kong's neon signs. His image titled "Lennon Wall' at Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong" was selected by Architizer among '100 Photos That Tell Powerful Stories About Architecture in 2021'. His work can be found on Foundation, Known Origin and on his own website www.markpanckhurst.com.‍ Ivona Tau is an AI artist and researcher who works with artificial intelligence as a medium in visual arts. A core element of her work lies in the intersection of photography with new technologies and machine learning. Ivona holds a Master's degree in Mathematics at Warsaw University. Currently, she pursues a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, in the Multimedia department. She has been awarded the best award in the Digital Ars contest dedicated to art creation with AI for her two projects: "These humans did not feel" and "Unseen Warsaw". Ivona is active on the NFT art scene and is currently one of the top-100 creators on the environmentally friendly Hic Et Nunc platform.
Once ubiquitous, the neon signs of the Hong Kong's streetscape are rapidly disappearing. Giant icons of the analogue era, they are quickly being dismantled and replaced with LEDs and other technologies. Using a variety of lenses, over 1000 images of these signs were captured and catalogued. Getting up close - and even inside - these iconic installations, the photographs convey the buzz of electricity and flicker of failing neon. Many of the signs in the catalogue have already been dismantled. The project was then developed using a generative adversarial network (GAN) and model checkpoint previously trained on night photography to fine tune it on the supplied neon images The resulting project bridges the gap between analogue and digital. The AI attempts to learn about the world as presented and, out of confusion comes clarity. Misunderstanding gives way to understanding. The images are recorded through the eye of a digital being as it gradually makes sense of an analogue world. The project creates new relationships between outdated technology and new emerging trends in AI augmented photography.
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