Hong Kong Airlines Launches Collectible Lai See Packets

Travel-hungry Hong Kong residents will soon get the chance to win these limited-edition red envelopes.

Photo: Hong Kong Airlines

It’s that time of year again when millions across the Chinese-speaking world must prepare envelopes of lucky money for younger relatives, family friends, and coworkers. To ring in the Year of the Ox, Hong Kong Airlines has just released a brand-new set of limited-edition lai see packets, featuring the brushstrokes of four local calligraphy artisans whose works have contributed to the distinctive visual landscape of Hong Kong.

Among the airline’s picks is Yim Chiu Tong, a.k.a. “Kui Wong” (Plumber King). His hand-painted advertisements for his plumbing business — created with graffiti-style characters — have been spotted on public facilities across the city for decades. The carrier also enlisted sign-painter Au Yeung Cheong, who has worked on more than 1,500 signboards and light boxes around Hong Kong, for the job. Au specializes in the Zan script, which was once used by scholars and royalty in the Tang Dynasty.

Signboard painter Au Yeung Cheong. (Photo: Hong Kong Airlines)

Then there is 82-year-old Yeung Kai, who specializes in the Beiwei script with its confident and dynamic strokes often preferred by business owners. Last but not least is the younger Lee Kin Ming, who has collaborated with Hong Kong Airlines on lai see designs for three consecutive years. He attracted the attention of the carrier after digitalizing over 5,000 Chinese calligraphy characters left by his father’s late business partner, Li Hon, to create a unique font named Li Hon Kong Kai. Lee’s designs have previously graced Hong Kong Airlines’ business-class amenity kits, socks, and sleep masks.

These special lai see envelopes highlight the unique style of each artist, and feature elements of aviation and travel (like a suitcase in an airplane window, the character for “flight,” and well-wishes for a pleasant journey). Hong Kong Airlines Vice President Louis Li said in a statement, “We are always eager to promote local art and culture within our community and around the world. Neon signboards in Chinese calligraphy are unique to Hong Kong and we are delighted to feature the works of these talented artists to bring some festive joy over the Chinese New Year holidays.”

The airline says it will soon announce further details on its social media channels to give Hong Kong–based travelers the chance to win these limited-edition collectibles.

More information here.

A close-up of Lee Kin Ming’s latest lai see envelope. (Photo: Hong Kong Airlines)

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