Vivian Chow Dedicates Career to Charity

Experienced in the music, film, television, and radio industry, Vivian Chow (周慧敏) was an all-rounder entertainer. Most of her albums received platinum certification; her television dramas and films were well-received, and she was once a very popular DJ for RTHK.

Known as Hong Kong’s “Jade Girl,” Vivian’s career was under tight scrutiny. At her impressive rate of success in music and film, observers believed that Vivian’s career would move nowhere else but up. But in 1997, after the release of her second Japanese album I Want to See You <我想見你>, Vivian announced her retirement from singing. She stated that she would move to Vancouver, Canada, with her then boyfriend, Joe Nieh (倪震), and live a quiet life.

Vivian returned to Hong Kong in 2003 and married Joe in 2009. Though she performed at several comeback concert tours – and even released an album, the 2011 Cantonese album Bansai <盆栽> – Vivian ultimately decided that it was best to settle down quietly and dedicate her time and energy to charity.

She said, “My career is over. As a public figure, and still with some physical energy left in me, I want to grasp onto the opportunities to do [charity].”

Living with Different Families

In the last several years, Vivian represented various charity organizations to visit third world countries. Last month, she represented World Vision International to visit the Sri Lankan city of Mullaitivu, where she visited a struggling family of 16 members.

“Everywhere I go I saw the destruction that were left behind from bombs,” said Vivian as she was describing her experience in Mullaitivu. “I went to visit a family of 16 members. The men of the family all died, and the only one left was a grandmother to take care of the children. They lost everything, and I hope our program would be able to help them through this trying time.”

Vivian’s time in Sri Lanka made her realize that happiness is not inevitable and that many necessities in life may not be necessary after all.

“With every visit, I would feel love and enlightenment. Whenever I see other people lacking even the most basic necessities, I would learn how to let go of myself. There are many more people out there who needs much more.”

After her trip to Mullaitivu, Vivian visited the Rideegama Divisional Secretariat, a sub-division in the Kurunegala District of Sri Lanka. There, she visited the 8-year-old Waka, her eighth sponsored child. Vivian also expressed that she was doing paperwork to sponsor Waka’s younger sister. “I want to sponsor his elder brother too, but he has surpassed the age limit.”

Vivian also spent a night living with a Sri Lankan family. She said, “At first I pondered about whether or not I could do it. Then I decided that this may be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I said yes. When the family’s wife knew I was staying over, she was really happy, and prepared for my visit for an entire month. She’s never had guests stayed over before. She gave me their best room and best food. On that quiet night, memories of my childhood came flashing back to me, as I also stayed in a wooden house when I was younger.”

Opens Own Production Studio

Earlier, rumors claim that Vivian intends to open up her own management company and plans to sign new artists under her label. Vivian laughed and said that the rumor was just a beautiful misunderstanding, but did admit that she had opened a production studio of her own.

“The reason for starting the company was because my longtime manager passed away earlier this year. We are not planning to sign any new artists anytime soon. At the present time, the company is focusing on my schedules and activities. We are currently very focused on producing my Christian album.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. I hope her producing a Christian album has more to do with exploiting the awful organization rather than supporting it.
    I also hope she doesn’t think she’s doing god’s work by visiting these people in Sri Lanka, and that she’s doing it because she herself wants to and because she has the time and money to do it.

    1. She can do whatever she wants with whatever reason she feels.

      Me giving money out of my love from God versus me giving money for tax benefit should not be anyone else’s business. In the end, someone gets the money.

    2. It’s none of my (or anyone else’s business) if she doesn’t advertise it to the public.
      Of course she can do whatever she wants for whatever reason she feels. It’s her right. But it’s also my right to hope she’s doing it out of the kindness of her heart rather than in the name of her religion…especially a religion that has a horrible historical record, ie., the inquisition, Mother Teresa (read Christopher Hitchens’ book on her), child molestation and rape (read Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape), discouraging the use of condoms in Africa (read Helen Epstein’s The Invisible Cure), etc.
      Unfortunately, because she’s a public figure and celebrity, her words have authority. And because she has authority, what she said matter and influences people. So yes, she has a right to do whatever she wants as an individual in her own privacy, but she’s also speaking as a celebrity to the general public which means it also comes with a certain amount of responsibility. Making a Christian album is irresponsible because she is inadvertently advertising for a religion that is quite despicable. This is not limited to Vivian. It includes the likes of Ada Choi, Gigi Leung, Sammi Cheng et al. They are all influential people due to their celebrity status and they all support and openly advertise their religion. In such a celebrity-dependent society like HK, this is dangerous.
      I am not saying they are bad people and I don’t think they are deliberately trying to do anything bad. However, I am saying that they are misguided and are misguiding people who look up to and idolize them.

      1. I know what you mean Mt. But honestly, to me Vivian is one of those Christians that are not so hardcore compared to Ada Choi for example. Ada reminds me of my religiously fanatic aunt who bases every single aspect of her life on religion as if she is brainwashed. I feel that Vivian is doing this out of the goodness of her heart rather than just to promote her religion. I personally always believe that when people do any good deeds it should be from the bottom of their heart, not because they think they will get something back or they have an ulterior motive behind there.

        I don’t find anything wrong with making a Christian album since didn’t Steven Ma do it recently as well? However, I must say that I get a bit annoyed at some celebs who base every single aspect of their lives on religion as if their lives depend on it. Another celeb that is not from HK is Vanness Wu. I enjoy his series and some of his songs, but gosh his preaches about Christianity can get sooo irritating. I sometimes wonder if they have a life outside of religion??

      2. A lot of act of kindness, compassion and charities are done in the name of religion. Nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong with Christian album? Another name for it is Gospel albums and it has existed for many years. I see nothing wrong with that either. The objections from you is mainly or rather truly because of religion. That is your issue to deal with, not hers and countless others who chooses to have faith in an organised community rather than run away from it. They see religion as a guide. By putting religion as the blame for all things wrong, now that is misguided. People who chooses to have faith in something essentially good to me is good thing. Why that something good becomes something bad is not religion per se, or the doctrine but the people professes it. If you see the line clearly then you will see a person who has faith is quite an optimist. That of course does not extent to those who do bad things in the name of their faith.All religion teaches us to be good. That much I believe in.

      3. This is silly argument. You just have something against Christianity, so, you object to these artists promoting the religion.

        Sammi Cheng releasing a Christian album is not ok, but, a Gospel singer releasing a Christian album is ok. Why is that so? Because Gospel singing not as popular as Sammi Cheng and only Christians listen to Gospel singers album?

        These celebs find Christianity to be good for them. The religion help them through hard times, give them new life. They really saw miracles when they believe in this religion and follow its guidance. So, they promote it to the masses. What’s wrong with that?

        Let say these artists found a sure cure for cancer that have no side effect and have 99% success rate. Will you object to them promoting the cure? I’m sure it’s a resounding ‘No’.

        Religion is not something bad. It shouldn’t be made a taboo.

      4. To HeTieShou, yes, I fully agree with you about Ada Choi. She was like preaching too much about Christianity. As if other religions are not good. I believe Vivian was doing it with sincere heart. I just want to say that we shouldnt be preaching about certain religion especially when we’re a public figure. As they know their actions impact a lot.

  2. oh gosh what happened to her? she didn’t look that old a short while back!

    1. Don’t be too surprised. After all, she’s 45 and already looking better than most women at that age.

    2. Everyone ages and at least she is naturally aging. Imagine if she had PS like many of the actresses of today. You really wonder how they will look when they are old.

    3. people, spare me the preachy lectures! i was merely stating a fact, not dissing her.

  3. vivian heart is so pure and jaded and full of positivity…we should all learn from her humble and giving happiness to others… she age gracefully and consider one of the most beautiful pioneer celebrity (without diva attitude)

  4. Vivian has always been of my most favorite artists not just because she is talented, but because she has a kind and sweet heart. She really cares about the less fortunate and does all that she can to help them. She not only cares for people but for animals as well since she has her own and always does great things for animal charities too.

    I think part of the reason may be that she grew up in a single parent family and has experienced the hardships of life, so cares more about the less fortunate than others who live an easier life. Those that have a great life tend to be unaware of others that are less fortunate. But of course,not everyone is like that. Anyways, kudos to Vivian for her kind heart and may she encourages others to do the same.

  5. Whereas Western celebrities emphasize charity and philanthropy, Chinese artists seldom reach the same level of reaching out. I really commend Vivian for what she did and is doing. She is a shining example that being an artist does not require a mountain of scandals and selfishness.

    1. I also really commend Vivian for her selfless acts and hands on charity work. It really touches me and shows how artists who generally have a materialistically comfortable life are able to reach out to others that are way less fortunate and to lend them a helping hand. I hope other artists will do the same.

    2. Can’t say that about Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Paris HIlton, Charlie Sheen and the rest of the narcissistic bunch.

  6. her heart is so pure and reflects through her face image as well (her face categorize as decent, kind and sweet natured)…her husband is so fortunate to have vivian as envy

  7. No that she has a career left per se so it is good to dedicate her time to charitable causes which most celebrities without much of a career left do.

    Anyway the picture above is pretty scary picture.

    1. She is 45 years old . What do you expect? At least she dedicated her time to charity . If not , she can just sit at home and be ” siu lai lai”

    2. it makes me wonder how you and I will look when we hit our 40s!

  8. I admire Vivian for her charitable act and I don’t think she should be criticized for doing so with an ulterior motive. Why can’t people take her at face value instead of trying to find fault and hit at her religion, etc. To me she is doing fine and I hope all her efforts turn out to be successful.

    1. Same thoughts here. I like her and may be a bit prejudiced, but still, I feel we shouldn’t criticize when someone does charitable acts. Whether they do it out of the goodness of their heart or otherwise, at least the less fortunate person they helped benefit from it.

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