BELGIUM-HONG KONG Publications / index / New Asian Currents

Neon Goddesses

Director,Script,Photography: Yu Lik-wai
Editing: Michèle Hubinon
Sound: Zhang Yang
Producer: Li Kit-ming
B-2 9/F 15 Shiu Fai Terrace, Stubbs Rd.
Phone & Fax: 852-27195634
BELGIUM-HONG KONG / 1996 / Chinese / Color / 16mm / 46 min

Yu Lik-wai

Born in 1966 in Hong Kong, Yu Lik-wai graduated from INSAS (Institut National Superieur des Arts de Spectacle, Belgium) in 1994, majoring in cinematography. Now free-lancer, active in both documentary photography and independent filmmaking. Filmography includes Yuan Ping, an internationally awarded b/w short. Neon Goddesses won Grand Prize at Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Award and Mention Grand Prix par le Jury International, Vue sur les docs, Marseille.


An alternative sketch of Beijing, where young women work in nightclubs and discos and dream of success. Under the harsh lights of gaudy neon and in scenes of their daily "marginality," their hopes are tainted with mockery.

Director's Statement

All starts with a song, or a voice. Bittersweet of a feminine voice, yet concealing a disquieting desire and energy. My fascination with this voice finally pushed me to focus the film on a group of female characters, a series of cinematographic portraits on three courageous "butterflies of the night." Thus the film begins and ends with the song of Huan Shoujuan, a marginal singer songwriter in Beijing. This is my first attempt in making a film on a feminine subject, which has always been scary for me simply because I esteem that it's too delicate for me. Stereotyping, voyeurism is always the temptation.

The resulting cinematographic work can never reach the poetry of this divine voice. It makes me realize now how difficult it is to make poetry out of naked reality: it demands a lot of courage and honesty in confronting one's subjective reality.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee