Cartoon Tsang may greet you at tax office

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 October, 2010, 12:00am

A visit to the tax office may soon be enlivened by cartoon images of the chief executive giving a weather forecast.

But Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is not about to start a new job at the Observatory - it's just one of the possibilities raised by a pilot project to put art into government buildings.

As part of the scheme, political cartoonist and artist Justin Wong Chiu-tat plans to install a digital display at Revenue Tower giving useful information to visitors in a cheerful way. Different images will be used and Wong says he has not ruled out including top government officials such as Tsang.

Wong is one of three artists leading a team of 15 students in a programme called Art @ Government Buildings to create works for the Tsuen Wan and Cheung Sha Wan government offices, and Revenue Tower in Wan Chai. 'Office workers have a lot of work to do,' Wong said. ' Citizens also have a lot of necessary, but boring stuff to deal with [at government departments]. I want to tell them something useful, such as weather and traffic conditions, using animation or comics.'

Announcing the project yesterday, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said it was an attempt to make sure art was not confined to museums. Students will help make the pieces, plan exhibitions and conduct guided tours.

Leung Chi-wo, responsible for the project in Cheung Sha Wan, will be illustrating 324 items dear to the hearts of Sham Shui Po residents and visitors as graphics and pasting them on glass at the building. Another artist, Man Fung-yi, will weave a shoe out of metallic wires.

Organisers of the mentorship programme, which runs from November to June next year, hope to attract students from varied disciplines, such as engineering, social work and cultural studies.

Public art is a convenient way for busy Hongkongers to enjoy art, Lesley Lau Fung-ha, chief curator of the Art Promotion Office, said.

The scheme offered students a taste of art projects, and may inspire them to become art administrators, said Connie Lam Suk-yee, executive director of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, which is co-organiser of the project.

The deadline for applications to the mentorship programme is Tuesday.