What is so dangerous about neon light installations? Our city is literally a jungle of dazzling signboards. While some residents may find them a nuisance, they can be enjoyable sights to locals and visitors alike. The array of neon lights is more a symbol of Hong Kong's vibrant street character than a threat to public safety. However, when these installations are to be presented in an art form in an indoor fair, they are deemed dangerous and require special precautionary measures. One has to ask whether this is the right way to handle arts exhibits. It is a pity that Joseph Kosuth, a world-renowned American artist, has become the victim of the some intrusive safety guidelines imposed by the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The plan by an Australian gallery to display 10 of his neon installations at the annual Art HK fair in May had to be dropped after the venue demanded a 1.5-metre-high acrylic screen be set up two metres from the display wall to keep off visitors, and that a fire switch in a yellow box with a red button be placed next to each work. The artist branded it a 'comedy', saying he had never experienced such a problem elsewhere in 50 years. The incident has made Hong Kong a laughing stock of the art world. The rules, based on the government's code of practice on electricity, are certainly made in good faith. While public safety is not to be compromised, there is no reason to believe the exhibits would become dangerous when shown in the city. After all, they have not caused any accident elsewhere. Hong Kong is the third-largest art market in the world after New York and London by auction turnover. As our appetite for the arts continues to grow, we need to ensure our rules and infrastructure are arts-friendly. Our reputation as Asia's arts hub will be tarnished if artists decide to show their works elsewhere.