Artist uses minibus to woo superstar

Local | Sum Lok-kei 4 Jan 2018

In a move that oozes creativity, an artist has used a minibus to try and recruit Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau Tak-wah for an advert to help improve labor conditions in the city.

The artist, Ching Chin-wai, is also a labor rights activist who has fought to provide chairs for security guards and cashiers

At the start of the year, Ching placed an advert on the exterior of a red minibus that read: "Wah Zai [nickname of Andy Lau], did you receive a letter from the Commissioner for Labour?"

According to the artist, he sent a letter to commissioner Carlson Chan Ka-shun in October, urging him to use Lau to promote better labor conditions.

In 2002, Lau starred in a series of adverts that promoted higher standards in the service industry. The commercial was well-known for its slogan: "This kind of service attitude is inadequate nowadays."

Ching said the adverts had "neutered" picky consumers in Hong Kong, which added to the burden of front-line workers.

"Instead, people should respect each other and have sympathy, as consumers are workers themselves," he said.

The artist also criticized the pamphlets created by the Labour Department as he believed it was nothing more than "meaningless work."

Instead of making staff produce guidelines and pamphlets, Ching said Chan should make the department generate more effective education material for the public.

Since Ching has not received a proper reply from the department, he decided to take matters into his own hands and place an advert on a red minibus as a means to capture Lau's attention.

He said the advert will be in place for about six months and refused to disclose the amount of money he had spent.

Ching explained that the idea stemmed from a line in a local movie featuring the same red minibus: "Don't fool yourselves that everything is normal out there."

"I hope one day Wah Zai will see the red minibus ... I believe he will be moved by the letter," Ching said.

A spokeswoman confirmed that the Labour Department has received Ching's letter.

She said the department issued a reply in December after Ching sent two letters.

"As for the issues mentioned in the letter, the department is following up on them," she said.

The spokeswoman did not say if the department will fulfill Ching's request and forward the message to Lau.

Ching is the leader of the "Fighting for Chairs" movement and his campaign has been highly successful thus far as just last year, supermarket chain Wellcome launched a pilot scheme to provide chairs for their cashiers.

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