Taiwan musicians celebrate late Anita Mui at biopic exhibition

10/07/2021 07:47 PM
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From left to right: Chris Hou, Ting Hsiao-Wen, Fran and Kay Huang. Photo Courtesy of Sinn Tan.
From left to right: Chris Hou, Ting Hsiao-Wen, Fran and Kay Huang. Photo Courtesy of Sinn Tan.

Taipei, Oct. 7 (CNA) Four Taiwanese artists paid tribute to the career and cultural impact of late Hong Kong superstar Anita Mui (梅艷芳) at the official opening ceremony of an exhibition featuring costumes from an upcoming biopic of the singer and actress in Taipei Thursday.

Three costumes from the film are currently being displayed in Hong Kong, while four are being exhibited at Taipei's Songshan Cultural and Creative Park between Oct. 6 and Oct. 30. From Nov. 1 until Nov. 30, the costumes will then be showcased at VieShow Cinemas in Taipei's Xinyi District.

During the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Taiwanese award-winning musicians Fran (法蘭), Kay Huang (黃韻玲), Ting Hsiao-Wen (丁曉雯), and Chris Hou (侯志堅) paid homage to Mui through music and stories.

Fran kicked off the ceremony by serenading the press with a Bossa Nova cover of Mui's famous Mandarin ballad "Intimate Lover" (親密愛人).

Fran said that Mui was an inspiration to performers for the life and energy she brought to the stage whenever she performed.

Huang, Ting and Hou then took turns to recount stories about working with the late Hong Kong star, lauding her relentless dedication to the craft, as well as her cultural impact on the Chinese music industry and her followers.

Mui was considered a legend in the Chinese-speaking world for her abilities as a stage performer and her achievements as an actress. Her ability to tackle a wide range of roles on screen made her a household favorite, while her flexibility in song genres and her chameleon-like command on live stage earned her the nickname of the "Madonna of Asia."

In 2003, Mui passed away due to cervical cancer.

In honor of her cultural significance, she received multiple posthumous recognition such as being honored with the "Daughter of Hong Kong" bronze statue on Hong Kong's harbourfront. The only other celebrity to receive a similar honor was the late kungfu star Bruce Lee (李小龍).

A film homage of Anita Mui
A film homage of Anita Mui's award-winning film, "Rouge (胭脂扣)." As the film marked a milestone in Mui's career, the movie is an important chapter in Mui's upcoming biopic. Photo Courtesy of Sinn Tan.

The latest artistic work to commemorate her is her namesake biopic, "Anita," slated for release on Nov. 12.

To celebrate the life of the cultural icon, as well as promote the upcoming film, both Hong Kong and Taiwan have been holding exhibitions to showcase the costumes used in the movie.

While the pieces used in the movie were replicated from Mui's original costumes to fit the actress who played her, Louise Wong (王丹妮), the costumes were recreated to the finest detail to fully encompass the spirit of the late star. The designers had said that they wanted Mui's presence to be palpable to her fans when watching the film.

In her prolific career, which spanned two decades until her passing, Mui made around 47 movies and recorded up to 30 albums performed in both Cantonese and Mandarin. Her achievements and recognition made her a cultural icon in places like Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

To English-speaking audiences, she is best-known as a leading woman alongside action star Jackie Chan (成龍) in three of his action movies including the latter's Hollywood breakthrough Rumble in the Bronx (紅番區).

(By James Lo)

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