Complete Translation of Faye and Yapeng’s [Jan. 9, 2011] Interview with Yang Lan
Prepared by Cejan
2 May 2011
[Away~ provided the link to this 81-minute video on 2.3.11.]
Opening by host: Hello everyone, welcome to Yang Lan One On One. Do you know which singer holds the record for best selling Chinese female artist? Yes, it’s Faye Wong. Her voice is ethereal and moving, and she has a lot of fans. You can tell it from how her comeback concert after 6 years of absence is full of audience. A guest like her is inevitably a target of attention by the media.
But she always appears aloof on stage and before the media, and hardly speaks. She said nothing more than “Thanks” 3 times on her concert. I was a little nervous when she finally agreed to do this interview. What should I do if she replies to all my questions with “Thanks”?
Her entry of weibo before the interview revealed how she felt, turned out she’s even more nervous than me. She got her cavalry, her husband, to do this interview together for the first time as husband and wife. And it’s interesting to note that Yapeng is also feeling nervous.
Host: I am a little nervous today, and then I saw Faye’s post on weibo: So nervous! So nervous! Tell us first why you are nervous.
Faye: I don’t do a lot of interviews, and I get nervous every time I have to do one, and I haven’t had an interview for a long time. I dreamed of myself being in the interview last night. It’s true.
Host: And she mentioned in her weibo that she imagined me wearing a big white robe, using a stethoscope. I think she still pictures me as a kind person, since she didn’t imagine me holding a scalpel.
Host: Yapeng is also uptight (about the interview)?
Yapeng: Indeed I am.
Yapeng: I think we have a subtle agreement, actually we never really talk about this, that we should not appear publicly together.
Host: Why is that so?
Faye: Don’t we appear publicly often?
Yapeng: Except for those charity events, we only make an appearance, not interaction.
Host: Yeah, right. Are you more relaxed with Yapeng around?
Faye: It’s much better, and…. (sigh…)
Host: Is Yapeng the one who speaks more at home?
Faye: Yes, obviously.
Host: Actually I find you someone who is good with words usually, and in your weibo lately, I think you’re actually someone who has a lot to say.
Yapeng: Basically I am the official spokesperson for our family, but at home I couldn’t really speak much.
Host: You were deprived of the right to speak.
Yapeng: It’s not deprived, but powerless.
Host: Is weibo a channel to relieve your stress?
Faye: To me weibo is just a game.
Yapeng: It’s an amusement.
Faye: I need to have game in each stage of my life, and the way of game at each stage is different. In the past we would have fun with our friends outside, but it is a digital era now, and we have changed our way of life, our way of game. So now weibo is our game.
Host: Recently the two of you have quite a nice collaboration, the movie Yapeng stars in “Eternal Love” that is about to screen, has Faye singing the theme song.
Faye: A duet.
Host: Yes, duet with Eason Chan.
Host: What is it about this song that attracts you? It’s actually not easy for you to accept a song, am I right? It’s not just because the movie is starring Yapeng so that’s why you did it.
Faye: There are several reasons to it, but of course it’s because it features him. And also Eason mentioned before that he wishes to sing a duet with me, and just so happens that this opportunity comes by. And last but not least because this song by XiaoKe is written very nicely, I like it a lot, though I do find the key a bit high.
Host: Is that a problem to you?
Faye: Because I think the key is not suitable for duet, but overall I feel good about it.
Host: I find the word “Love” quite interesting, the last album released by Faye before your hiatus is titled “To Love”. If it’s extended to full sentence it could be “To love and….”
Faye: Theirs is “To love (relationship) till the end”, mine is “To love till the end”, it’s more magnificent.
Yapeng: Greater love.
Host: So your interpretation of “love” is more than the kind of love between a couple. I think to revisit the topic of love today is quite proper, and why don’t we start by Smile Angel Foundation.
Narrator: Smile Angel Foundation is officially founded on 21.11.2006. The foundation help cleft lip patients to receive reconstructive surgery through various charity events. Up until 30.11.2010, the foundation has helped provided 7490 surgeries.
Yapeng: I had a thought then, if I can help 10,000 children to receive this treatment, I would be ……. answering to my daughter.
Host: Like a promise.
Yapeng: Like a promise, but I didn’t expect the foundation to have achieved this much over the years, it has exceeded my expectations. It has been 3 and a half years now, since the foundation actually started providing treatments.
Host: It’s really something. How about you, Faye? What were your expectations for this foundation in the beginning?
Faye: I really don’t have anything to say about Smile Angel Foundation, from the beginning idea to execution, and to what we achieved today, it’s really him doing all the work. I didn’t do anything other than make a few appearances.
Host & Yapeng: You’re just being humble.
Faye: I am never humble, I am just being honest. I couldn’t answer your question about expectations because I never thought about it. Even though I never did any actual work for the foundation, I am proud of him, really.
Yapeng: No, no, no, you’re too humble. Even though I did the actual work..
Host: You are like 2 brothers, giving each other praises.
Yapeng: I think this is about division of duties. I am only able to have the time to work for the foundation, to work for the children, under one condition: someone has to look after my chidren. For the past few years, she has made great effort in taking care of my child, nurturing her, and I think she has done more than what a mother would do for her child, comparing to the people around me.
Host: Back in 2009 Yapeng led a medical team to the highlands of Xinjiang and Tibet to provide treatments for children with cleft lip. And there was a time when communication and transportation were interrupted, how did you feel during that period? Were you worried for him?
Faye: Not really, I was sure he would make through it.
Host: What a poor thing.
Faye: No, I just know for sure that since he’s doing something so great he will be blessed and he will get through it.
Yapeng: That’s her way of thinking.
Faye: Of course I did feel sorry for him, but I know nothing will happen to him.
Host: What were you sorry for him?
Faye: I saw in the picture and he looked pretty bad.
Host: He’s all hypoxemic.
Faye: So I do feel that it’s quite hard for him.
Host: Many parents of children with cleft lips would want to know what exactly can they do for their children. Especially for Faye as a mother, this is not just about paying the medical bills after receiving treatment. How do you prepare and help your child to deal with it psychologically?
Faye: Treat her like she is a normal kid, I think.
Yapeng: For Yan’s case, her surgery is quite a success. Until now we haven’t had much problem dealing with that, and we take her out quite often, she goes to kindergarden as well.
Yapeng: And there were no other kids or people…
Host: So I see that her operation was very successful.
Yapeng: But I do agree with what you said, that mark (scar) would not disappear completely even when she grows up.
Host: For example one day when she has grown up.
Yapeng: And someone may gives her a surprised look, how should she react to it? If some day that does happen, I would tell her to give that person a smile.
Host: To return a smile to the person no matter what kind of look she receives.
Yapeng: I hope my daughter would give the person a smile.
Faye: I think it all depends on the mindset of the parents as the child is growing up. The way we perceive will affect her, especially when she is young. Now I really don’t think there is anything wrong with her, when I look at her sometimes I really find her a beautiful girl, not a problem at all. If that’s how we see things, she will see it the same way too. If she has such a healthy mentality since she’s young, I am sure she won’t face any problem when she grows up.
Host: Yeah, her first impression would be, my parents think I am a beautiful girl.
Yapeng: If this were an issue to us, we did have the option not to keep the child then.
Host: I remember Yapeng said that Faye only replied in three sentences when making the decision whether to keep the child or not.
Yapeng: We only said in three sentences. You asked me first, right?
Faye: I never asked you. To me I never see this as a problem.
Yapeng: We returned home from hospital, and avoided talk about it for a few hours.
Faye: We didn’t avoid it.
Yapeng: But we didn’t talk about it, we’re still thinking it.
Yapeng: After we were home, thinking about it on bed.
Faye: I mean I never consider this question.
Yapeng: I asked her, “What do you think about it?” I don’t remember her exact words, and she replied, “What do you mean? Don’t you want it (baby)?” And I said “Ok, I get it.” That’s all. And we never talk about it again.
Host: You never had any doubt about it.
Faye: That would defy what I believe in (religion).
Host: It’s actually an attitude to life. How do you look at the imperfections in life?
Faye: Life is meant to have imperfections, it’s either physically or mentally for each life, you have to accept them. I didn’t really understand all this when I was young, but ever since I have my religion, I think that’s how I should perceive this. So I never had any doubt, and never thought about making a different decision.
Yapeng: As the saying goes, “Life without imperfections is not perfect”. Actually this is what I am worried of, we never talk about what we discuss here today at home.
Host: So you never discuss it, because you already understand each other’s mind isn’t it?
Yapeng: We really don’t communicate much on such issues. So while you are asking….
Faye: You’re a little afraid aren’t you?
Yapeng: I am also thinking… At home we’re more like…. For example even though I’m starring and investing in the movie, believe it or not, we never talk about her singing the theme song before, it’s the director who seek her.
Host: May I ask what do the two of you talk about at home? If you don’t talk about all the important things, then what do you talk about exactly? What to have for dinner?
Faye: All the trivial things.
Yapeng: Basically we never discuss anything related to work at home.
Host: But this is quite important to the kids.
Yapeng: Let me conclude this, officially, I do think that on the topic of our daughter, even though we didn’t exchange much opinions on it, but I think after going through this we have gained a kind of respect for each other, and this is not something you can get from your love life.
Host: It’s actually based on an essential part of a person.
Yapeng & Host: How do you find that conclusion?
Host: Isn’t that more comprehensive?
Faye: You respect me and I respect you.
Host: What qualities have you found in each other that you did not see before from this?
Faye: I am not the kind of person who would think of starting a foundation like this, I am more of the person who rather to have the benefit for myself.
Host: To keep to yourself.
Faye: Yes. I just want to make sure that I look after myself, I didn’t think of to extend this to another level. When he brought up this idea, my initial response was negative. I think it would be enough for me to just looking out for myself, and there is no need to make it something bigger. But I did change my views later from the whole Smile Angel Foundation experience. In the past I care too much about my “personality”, I like to keep a low profile.
Host: The truth is you don’t want to be old-fashioned, right?
Faye: I tend to follow and pursue the things that feels right for my heart and personality too much. But what he did has made me realize that sometimes you need to put that kind of feeling aside, your so-called dignity or personality, because this is beneficial to the other people, to the general public. So that’s what I have learned from this experience, which is why I am very supportive of him now.
Host: I think she concludes better than you!
Faye: These are my honest thoughts.
Host: I know they are, and that makes them valuable.
Host: In the past 4 years of running Smile Angel Foundation, is there any memorable experience that touches you the most?
Faye: I wasn’t very much involved, but I have seen all this too and they are indeed touching. There was one time we went to Lhasa, Tibet to visit the patients, and there’s one young guy in his twenties, he was very emotional when he sees us. He cried and kneeled before us, and thanked us for what we did. I couldn’t stand being in a situation like this, because it was too emotional for me, especially in front of everyone. And I really couldn’t help feeling touched when seeing this.
Yapeng: That young guy had a wish, he wanted to enlist to the army. But there are certain requirement to be enlisted, so we specially arranged a recovery procedure for him, and in the end he was enlisted.
Host: Did you discover any new qualities in Faye?
Yapeng: From a certain angle I think she is very direct, very simple, and being simple has its advantage, that she is very firm.
Host: Is it a baggage for you to have Faye as your wife, and that people would have speculation about you, and makes you feel pressurized? And do you feel like you need to vindicate yourself?
Yapeng: We can forget about vindication, I think I just need to respect my own feelings. I think I am actually quite a traditional guy, I am willing to make adjustments for the sake of my family. But of course I do face some difficulties and emotional struggles when making these adjustments.
There was this one time when I presented an award for the foundation, the host actually introduced me by saying: Let’s welcome Faye’s husband Li Yapeng to come up stage. Honestly I can say that I am used to it. That day I had a long talk with our Executive Director, he was in a difficult position too. After everything we have done, why do they still introduce me in such a manner? I said to them I accept this, not reluctantly but because we have a big heart.
Especially when you are doing charity works, you should never think that you are doing good deeds, and that everyone has to give way and agree with you. If we have support from anyone, we should treat that as a gift. I couldn’t share it with her whenever I have trouble like this, and I wouldn’t want to either.
Host: Who can give you support at times like this?
Yapeng: Her songs.
Host: Seriously? You don’t talk to her, I am guessing. You don’t have words with her when you have such problem, do you?
Faye: Because I sing better than I can say.
Yapeng: Of course we have interactions when we are together, how can we not as a family? Perhaps there are certain subjects that we don’t wish to discuss, as it may get serious. I think life is about understanding each other tacitly, and that’s what we follow in life. We never talk about it before, seriously, and that’s why we are nervous today. We don’t talk about certain subjects normally.
Host: I understand. And that’s the purpose of having this interview today, if it’s all about what you would discuss normally then I wouldn’t be here today. What song of hers do you listen to?
Faye: It’s probably the voice that he’s listening.
Yapeng: That’s right. The lyrics content and background of the song have nothing to do with me. I am just saying that I have the company of her voice. I think I mentioned to her once…
Faye: When we are fighting?
Yapeng: Fighting? No, it’s when I am mad. And I listened to her song and thought to myself that we shouldn’t say anything further since she is singing like that already.
Host: Great singing has this ability as well.
Yapeng: That was just a joke. I think what I explained earlier is more serious.
Host: In the coming year, I know that the foundation has some new plans, including the launch of a Smartcard.
Yapeng: It’s called Yanran Angel Smartcard. If the account holder donates RMB5 from his card every month to the foundation, we will give him an unreleased CD of Faye.
Host: Look, you did your part anyway.
Yapeng: So everyone is doing his part, I do whatever I can, and she definitely generates some sort of social influence for the foundation over the years.
Opening by host: Hello everyone, welcome to Yang Lan One On One. My early New Year greetings to you, I wish everyone Happy New Year in the year of rabbit. Since it’s new year all families long for reunion and harmony, so of course the topic of family was included in my interview with Faye and Yapeng.
Their every move is being watched by the public because of their celebrity status, but living a family life they can’t run away from the household matters however. As parents of two children, they have to learn how to get along with them, just like any other parents. Is Faye also as cool as she appears on stage, when being a housewife and a mother?
Host: Both of you actually attend some courses on the education of children, but Faye already is experienced in being a mother, is it necessary to learn parenting? It’s sounds unfathomable for many Chinese parents. What were you learning about? I heard you need to take a test too.
Yapeng: We’ve both taken the test.
Host: What have you learned from it? Can you share your experience with us? Why do you need to learn parenting?
Faye: It’s totally necessary to learn. We’ve all been through it as we grow up. When you’re a grown up you’ll notice that what you are made of today is what you learned when you’re young, and also influence from your parents. And you’ll realise it’s very difficult to change or reverse that, because it’s been implanted into your mind since you’re young.
Yapeng: It’s a reflection of your parents and surroundings.
Faye: It’s hard to change. So the environment parents create for the child is very important to his mental structure, and it will affect the child’s behaviour as he grows up. So it’s necessary to learn. But I don’t think it’s convenient for us to reveal the contents of the course.
Yapeng: We can reveal certain parts.
Host: Surely you can share some of it, is it that secretive?
Yapeng: We started attend the course when Yan’s six months old. But you can’t be educating a six-month-old child, she can’t communicate in words with us at all. So it’s actually education for the parents, because parents are the first contacts in the child’s life. By educating the parents’ behaviour and the demonstrations of it.
Faye: It’s not only behaviour but also mental activities, because children are able to reflect adult’s mentality. They are capable of doing that by instinct. They may not be able to express it but they can feel it. So your every action and thought is important.
Host: Who is more talented when it comes to interacting with the children? Who do they like to be with more?
Faye: I am not really talented, but he’s even less talented.
Host: Nice, you made a comparison too.
Faye: I think I am impatient.
Host: Being a full time mother for four years is a contrast to your previous life in the show business which is fast-paced and high-pressure.
Faye: But I think it’s quite natural for me, I don’t feel there is a great difference. I think I am simply doing whatever I should depends on what kind of environment that I am in. I don’t find it hard to get used to. But comparing to the times when I was having my first daughter, I am doing a little more now. But I am not really a patient person.
Host: Are you not patient?
Faye: It’s a value inculcated in my childhood. A bad habit.
Host: Why? Because your mother was impatient?
Faye: Yes. It’s really the case.
Captions: January 1997, first daughter Dou Jingtong was born. 2006, Li Yapeng and Faye Wong had their daughter Li Yan. Li Yapeng and Faye Wong attend a special course designed for parents for their daughter’s education.
Yapeng: I must clarify what she said just now, I think she’s making that remark at a very demanding standard. Like the course we are attending for Yan, there have been over a hundred lessons that we took in the past one year. But I have a lot of business trip, so basically she attended to all the lessons unless she was sick or had something to attend to occassionally. So she’s being demanding at herself about not being patient enough. She’s also very serious, like she’s been reciting Diamond Sutra to her. Yan is able to read the entire Diamond Sutra with her now after two years
Host: She probably treats that as a lullaby. Other mums are singing a lullaby but she’s reading a sutra.
Faye: It’s actually part of the course too.
Yapeng: We also have a wildlife observation, a scientific observation during each solar term.
Host: What course is this? It’s so demanding.
Yapeng: We have to go to *****
Faye: Oh no, you exposed it! Cut! Cut!
Yapeng: A big one. We have to go to a specific location to observe the changes in nature during each solar term.
Host: Is she talkative when she’s with the kids?
Faye: Not much.
Host: Not much? How much conversations can be heard at your home in a day?
Faye: Not much really, as opposed to other mums.
Host: Are you the kind of mother who would say to your kid something like: Look there is a car coming from the street.
Faye: I don’t do this kind of things, that’s why I said I have no patience.
Host: So you just talk about life with her.
Faye: No, I don’t talk about life with her. I just bicker with her. I seldom do stuff like other mums would do: “let’s come and play..”
Host: “I am a big wolf…”
Faye: I seldom do that.
Host: You don’t do that kind of stuff often.
Faye: So she talks like an adult now, right? She’s more mature.
Yapeng: Yan doesn’t know how to use computer and weibo. If she knows how then…
Host: She’s probably articulate too.
Yapeng: She’s very awesome already.
Narrator: In October 2010, Yapeng released a series of photographs of her daughter Yan through his weibo, of the moments of them together in those observation trips. Faye also posted a photograph of her and her two daughter in her weibo, titled “Big sister, second sister, third sister”
Host: What you got at home? Big sister, second sister, third sister?
Yapeng: Big sister, second sister, third sister.
Host: Which one is Faye? Third sister isn’t it?
Yapeng: Come, say it yourself.
Host: She’s younger than the other two, right?
Yapeng: Big sister is Tongtong, second sister is Yan, third sister is her.
Host: Why does she come last?
Yapeng: Why is that so?
Faye: What happened is that….
Host: I know what happened, Faye doesn’t want to grow up.
Faye: No, actually I…. it’s him, who keeps saying that I, the three of us.
Yapeng: I was just joking sometimes, and slowly becomes…
Faye: Because Big sister is in her teenage now, and kids her age tend to act older than they actually are, and she writes stuff that seems philosophical, something with depth. So that’s the situation at home. As for me and Yan, we have good times together when she’s not at school. I am not acting like an overpowering mother when I am with her.
Yapeng: Second sister is calmer.
Faye: Yes, yes. She’s like that.
Yapeng: Calmer and steadier.
Host: You looked like you have been through a lot (of hardships).
Faye: That’s probably because of the beard.
Yapeng: Because of my work, I prefer to look that way.
Host: You’re only worried that you don’t look aged.
Faye: Kind of like Big sister now.
Host: Also in teenage right? When will the three ladies at home make you feel warm and loved?
Yapeng: We have more than three ladies at home, because my mum is living with us, my dad has passed away.
Faye: Women of three generations.
Yapeng: And I have a niece, she hangs around often too.
Faye: We have gender imbalance at home.
Yapeng: Yes. Plus I have four aunts.
Host: And four aunts? So you are important at home, otherwise it won’t be balanced.
What is the sweetest and most contented moment you have at home, the moment that makes you feel that everything is worth it?
Faye: When you sit down at the dining table and you have women all around you. Aunt serving the dish.
Yapeng: I am quite a traditional guy, especially when I am getting older. My parents had a very traditional relationship, as I am going through this phase of life, the more I realise the childhood experience and habits are being reflected today. For example, let’s say we’re having meal, I’m the only male, with all the women.
Host: You are sitting there like the master and giving orders.
Yapeng: That’s not the case, it’s actually the opposite. If she had one last scoop of rice in her bowl that she didn’t finish, or it’s Yan, and she passed it to me: for you, Dad!
Host: I see, so you take care of the leftover.
Yapeng: This just occurred to me when you ask. My parents were like that when I was little, my mum would give her leftover to my father. So I feel blessed when the same thing is happening to me now. Do you understand what I am saying now?
Faye: I think it’s a very genuine act.
Host: It never crossed your mind that by passing over your leftover food to him you’re making him feel blessed.
Faye: I seldom do that.
Yapeng: You did before. Yan did it more often.
Faye: I understand what he’s saying, he takes it willingly.
Yapeng: So to me happiness is….
Host: Happiness isn’t really about major things.
Yapeng: Our family life has been quite stable in the past few years, with no major issues, except for Yan and the foundation, it’s going on pretty well. So I think that’s happiness to me.
Host: Are you enjoying your life as a full time wife and mother, Faye?
Faye: I quite enjoy it actually.
Host: Or are you getting tired of it?
Faye: I am actually quite lazy, yet responsible, so it’s quite contradicting. Like attending the course, I am actually not so keen about it. Some mothers are really devoting themselves for their children. I feel embarrassed when I see what they do for their children, they are so enthusiastic. But I just couldn’t be like them.
Yapeng: I think you’re doing just fine, don’t overdo it.
Host: Yeah, you already made me feel bad.
Faye: Don’t interrupt me! Where was I?
Host: You were saying that you’re lazy, yet responsible at the same time.
Faye: I am lazy, but I can’t turn away from my responsibility, sometimes it’s difficult for me. But being a full time mother for the past few years is not easier than when I was a singer. There are many things that I need to take care of at home, trivial errands.
Host: Do you cook at home?
Faye: I don’t cook. I will go nuts if I had to.
Yapeng: But before we got married we bought a full set of cookware, every single piece that you can think of, from a pot this tiny…..
Host: What is a pot this tiny for?
Yapeng: To fry egg. To a pot so large that it’s enough to cook for the entire block. We have them all. They were meant for cooking before we were married.
Host: You planned to cook when you bought the cookware?
Faye: Besides cooking they are also decorations, I now hang them all on the wall.
Yapeng: They have become decorations.
Faye: And later on I became vegetarian.
Host: So the whole family became vegetarians too?
Faye: No, but because I am vegetarian I couldn’t prepare meat.
Host: Right. That’s a good excuse. So tell me more about how you are being responsible.
Faye: All the trivial errands at home is making me….. I am impatient and lazy, if I had more than two things to do at the same time, my head would start spinning, I would feel like I am losing control. But I had no choice but to do them, and I wanted to do them well. I don’t want to be irresponsible.
Host: What is your greatest accomplishment? What moments would you feel most satisfied and contented?
Faye: Every moment is satisfying.
Host: Every moment.
Faye: Yes. There is no a particular moment that I would suddenly be satisfied about. Every moment is satisfying for me as long as there isn’t anything to be unhappy about.
Host: Sometimes people would find Faye in some supermarket in Beijing, and they are suprised to see you dressed casually, with no make up on, and bargaining. What situation is this?
Faye: I had to do it.
Host: Because Yapeng is out of town?
Faye: No, because I have to handle these errands myself.
Yapeng: I haven’t been handling the matters at home for the past few years. My aunt told me a joke the other day. As it’s not convenient for Faye to go shop in the market, so she did a lot of online purchase. We have many order deliveries to our home everyday, and every time when the courier arrives my aunt will open the door. One day the deliveryman asked my aunt, “Is this place a firm?” Our doorbell would ring a number of times each day, all sorts of supplies are delivered to us. It’s not easy to look after a home and make sure everyone is taken care of.
Host: Do you find it difficult to even attend a Parent Teacher Conference?
Faye: I seldom attend to such conference.
Yapeng: We did attend once with Tongtong.
Faye: Yeah, only that time, and I didn’t attend any other.
Yapeng: It’s not that we don’t want to go, it’s really difficult for us. People would look at us more, and the teacher has to pay more attention to us, we’re actually creating trouble for them. So it’s really not that convenient.
Host: There is one issue that I think it’s quite sensitive and delicate for Yapeng. How do you rate Yapeng, Faye? Is he a good father to your two daughters?
Yapeng: Come on, answer her question.
Faye: I don’t see any problem with him, but only he knows better himself.
Host: Is it true that Yapeng consulted Tongtong’s opinion when you’re about to get married?
Yapeng: When we’re getting married? We talked about it.
Host: You spoke with Tongtong alone?
Yapeng: She asked me.
Host: What did she ask?
Yapeng: She asked if I am going to marry her mother.
Host: And how did you reply?
Yapeng: We haven’t decided to get married when she asked me, so I said I probably will. Kids are actually aware of a lot of things. I think I’ve done a lot on her schooling, including her school transfer. She’s been going to international school all this while, and the turnover of the staff is very high, so it’s not really….
Host: A healthy environment for the children.
Yapeng: Yes, so I helped her to transfer to a state school, and it’s not easy. Education for children is really hard nowadays.
Host: Indeed, it’s a test for the parents.
Yapeng: And the school may not want to accept a new student, regardless of who you are. I stood and waited at the school gate to see someone for three hours.
Yapeng: They were actually avoiding me, but later they sent a teacher to see me after found out that I ’ve been waiting.
Host: Did Faye know about this?
Faye: I know.
Yapeng: She knows. But Tongtong dropped out of it after going to the new school for a while, maybe she found it hard to adapt to.
Host: It’s the thought that counts. I believe it matters to you whether Tongtong can accept him.
Yapeng: Even though it’s hard for her to transfer to the state education system, she did spend a year there, and she had that kind of exposure. At least now she’s aware of that environment. I can’t judge between this two different systems, but she can compare now. It’s an experience and I think it’s helpful for her.
Host: Just now Faye mentioned that after being a mother you realised a lot of behaviour and habits are actually reflections of childhood experience. What attribute of yours has the most influence from your childhood? Like you being independent, is it related to your mother?
Faye: Me being independent.
Host: Are you a stubborn woman?
Faye: I guess I am.
Host: You have your own opinion.
Yapeng: Are you stubborn?
Faye: Am I not?
Host: Don’t you find her stubborn? Because most people see that once Faye makes a decision, no one can change it. She always has her own mind.
Faye: I think I am born with this character.
Host: Because a lot of times you need to make your own decision.
Faye: I mean in some areas, like some dilemmas, I think it’s related to my childhood experience.
Narrator: Faye was born in Beijing on August 8, 1969. Her father Wang Youlin was a mining engineer, her mother Xia Guiying was a soprano of the mining cultural group. She followed her mother’s surname before 15, named Xia Lin. She changed her name to Wang Fei after 15.
Faye: My mum was very stern when I was little, she didn’t allow me to make any mistakes, even the minor mistakes.
Host: Can you give us a specific example?
Faye: Like I had to go straight home after school, if I stayed outside for one more minute I would be making mistake. So I mind a lot about the idea of making mistake. So like I said earlier that I am lazy, but I have to be responsible at the same time, if I ever skip my responsibility because of my laziness, I would blame myself. Sometimes this kind of feeling is torturing me.
Host: Were you rebellious when you’re a teenager? Because sometimes if the parents are over-controlling the kids, the consequences might be serious once the kids lose control.
Faye: I might have a rebellious mind, but I never actually did anything that crossed the line. Maybe I did feel recalcitrant when I was being lectured by my parents.
Host: Is there anything you have done when you’re young that was really against your mother’s wishes?
Faye: Really nothing, basically I did as I was told. But deep down I always felt that she is not always right. For example she never liked the fact that I like singing.
Host: She’s a singing artist herself.
Host: Why did she object to it?
Faye: Because she’s a singing artist herself so she knew that singing is not a prospective career at her times, and she’s not a well-known singer. She thought that this path would be difficult. A lot of people think the same way, they don’t want their children to go through what they have been through, because they know how it would turn out.
Host: How did she stop you from singing?
Faye: The mandatory way.
Host: Mandatory like how?
Faye: No performing at school, no participation in any group, that’s how.
Host: Did you cry or throw tantrums about it?
Faye: I didn’t cry or throw tantrum. I would just obey and listen, because I was afraid of her. She’s very strict. But I can’t stop myself from enjoying it just because of her. If she forbade me from performing then so be it, I’d just sing on my own.
Narrator: In 1985, after overcoming obstacles, 15-year-old Faye was selected by a record company in Beijing to release her first record “The wind comes from there”, covering songs of Teresa Teng. Not long after, the record company released her second record “Mesmerising Culler”. The record sold pretty well as well. And Teresa Teng had become her personal idol. Faye was less than four years away from releasing her first album by that time.
Host: Do you feel complicated knowing that now Tongtong is also into music and asking people to name the band she’s going to form?
Faye: I don’t feel complicated. She can sing or learn anything if she wants to. Before this she said she’ll think about it. She’s still too young and is full of ideas. Not long ago she wanted to play drums, and now she wants to sing. I’ll let her learn if she wants to, it’s not a bad thing after all.
Host: Would you try to avoid the way you were brought up by your mother when bringing up your own kids now?
Faye: Yes I would, but it’s really difficult sometimes.
Yapeng: It’s definitely difficult, but I think she’s done it quite successfully.
Host: She’s more of an open-minded…
Yapeng: About her relationship with her mother, we…
Faye: Heard rumours about it.
Yapeng: We talked about it a lot when we were dating, about our childhood, family. I really think that she’s able to segregate those experiences from her mind, and does not incur them on her children now. It’s not an easy task, but I think she did it.
Opening by host: Hello everyone, welcome to Yang Lan One On One. Before Faye became famous, Teresa Teng was the most influential singer in the Chinese music industry. Her voice delivers a peaceful and delicate emotion, enabled her music to overcome regional and cultural differences and became widely popular. Faye was largely influenced by Teresa Teng when she started singing, but due to the difference in times and background, she added her own taste to her music in later time. Many people try to analyse her music and success for the past twenty years. How does Faye see her own music career?
Narrator: After Faye’s concert in 2004, she had made very little public appearance, and did very little singing. She has only 4 new songs in the past 6 years: Smile Angel, Orchid Parade, Heart Sutra, and Legend.
Host: Do you miss the stage?
Faye: No, I really don’t.
Host: All you have in mind is household chores.
Host: Some say that as your child grows older, and you begin to miss the stage, what it feels like to be on stage, and that’s why you decide to return?
Faye: Let me put it this way, I only started to miss it once I got on the stage. I don’t feel anything until I got on stage.
Host: What is it about being on stage that you miss?
Faye: I enjoy sharing with the audience, how they like my music and their response. I quite enjoy that kind of experience actually, but I can’t feel all that before I get on stage, I have forgotten all about that.
Host: When you decided to take a break, did you feel that you are lacking inspiration and there’s no point to continue, or did you get tired of that kind of life in show business?
Faye: Yes, I am tired of that kind of life. It’s actually both, lacking inspiration is definitely one of the reason too. I think it’s the phases of life, and at that phase I just felt that I should stop for a while. I can’t tell you exactly why, it’s just a feeling.
Host: Because you want to spend the rest of your life with him, and you’ve got all the kitchen ware already.
Faye: It’s the result of all factors that made me decide to take a break. I won’t push myself reluctantly.
Host: Was it a request by Yapeng?
Faye: No, no, no.
Host: Some men would make that kind of request: you can quit after married to me.
Yapeng: I am supportive of her decision whether to continue singing or not, that hasn’t changed.
Faye: Yeah, and bear no responsibility.
Host: But what do you wish to see? You may be supportive of whatever decision she makes but what do you secretly wish her to do?
Faye: Yeah, tell us your secret answer.
Yapeng: I am saying this from the bottom of my heart.
Host: Sounds diplomatic to me.
Yapeng: I think that as partner in life, if I can let her or even help her to live life the way she wants, it would be the best way of showing your love, your support. If she doesn’t want to sing, then I will help her to create a family life. If she wants to sing, and I’ll support her. My friends were complaining to me the other day about her concert this time, “Ask your wife not to sing anymore, we’re losing money here!”
Faye: What is that supposed to mean?
Host: What do you mean?
Yapeng: Because they will buy a lot of tickets.
Host: You call this losing money? But they get to enjoy the concert!
Yapeng: I’ve bought the tickets to give away.
Host: You should ask them not to buy, I’ll buy your tickets because I can’t get any!
Faye: How can you call it making loss…..
Host: What a thing to say. Anyway do you think it’s hard for her to prepare for the concert?
Yapeng: I think singing is certainly not a burden to her, it’s not even a work to her, it should be an enjoyment for her. She may be a little nervous about it, but I believe overall she is happy.
Narrator: Faye’s comeback concert began on 29.10.2010 in Beijing Wukesong Stadium, after absent in the music scene for 6 years. All seats were filled in the stadium that can accommodate 18,000 audience.
Host: People are fascinated with your style and find it mysterious. For example you didn’t say anything other than “Thanks” 3 times in your concert, and people are speculating if Faye is too arrogant to pay any attention to the audience.
Faye: Actually I have read a lot of reports claiming that before my concerts start, my manager Katie Chan forbids me from saying anything other than “Thanks” 3 times. I almost burst out laughing.
Host: Is this a result of celebrity image making?
Faye: No, no. Katie wants me to speak more than just Thanks. But the thing is that in my opinion, I dislike being pretentious the most. I can’t stand myself being pretentious, if I start acting pretentious the audience would find it unbearable even more. So I really don’t want to say anything if I don’t have anything to say. I just want to say thanks and that’s all I will say, and not to say things just to fill the emptiness.
Host: But don’t you have anything to say after not seeing everyone and absent from stage for 4 years?
Faye: Nothing to say. Besides I have incorporated everything I want to say in my music, and in the production of my concert. To say another word is totally redundant, it would instead spoil the entire atmosphere, because my concert has its own theme: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Revive. What is there to say? What is to speak with the audience?
Host: The music is there.
Faye: Yes, the music never stops, it’s continuous, what is there for me to say?
Narrator: Faye didn’t have much words with the audience in her first concert, but her entry of weibo in mid break has surprised her fans. Her fans now have a place to interact with Faye outside of the concert.
Host: You said you were nervous, and you wish you were able to sit in the audience to see exactly how nervous you look.
Faye: Nervous indeed.
Host: You already have so much experience in performing on stage, can you tell us how nervous can it get to be up there again after 4 years?
Faye: I am always nervous before I perform on stage in the past, let alone after not doing that for years.
Host: But you seem calm and steady. I suppose your second daughter inherited this trait from you.
Faye: I may look steady but my voice is trembling, I can’t hide it. I am still nervous, especially the first night, I was really nervous before stage, it only got better after 3 songs.
Narrator: Tickets prices for Faye 2011 concert in Beijing and Shanghai ranges from RMB300 – RMB2500, it has set record as the highest concert ticket price in China. Despite so, all tickets were sold out fast. People are surprised at how successful Faye’s comeback has been, the media analysed that this is the result of a scrupulously planned strategy by Faye’s team over the years.
Faye: It’s just me and my manager. To me every step that I take is all by nature’s course. All we ever do is to decide whether to take a job or not when we are presented one. There’s no such thing as paving the road for something, but people seem to think that..
Host: Everything is carefully planned.
Yapeng: Many things are not what they seem to appear, they are not only different from their appearance, they could even be the opposite. People tend to apply their own way of thinking to understand other people.
Faye: Like for Katie (Faye’s manager), she happens to become Eason Chan’s manager just when I wanted to take a break. But she didn’t do this on purpose, it just so happened that Eason needed a manager and looked for her. She asked me about this and I said of course it’s okay, I am taking a break anyway.
Host: Everything happened by chance.
Faye: Yes, everything happens naturally, maybe people find it hard to believe and insist that it can only happen carefully planned.
Narrator: Faye arrived in Hong Kong in 1987 at age of 18. She was noticed by winning third place in Asia Pacific Song Writing Competition with the song “Still the old sentence”, and was signed to a record company.
Faye: It’s an impact to me when I first arrived in Hong Kong, it was my first job to be a singer. The environment, the language, the people and everything was unusual for me. I was lost, I didn’t know what to do. I used to be someone with my own ideas, but I totally lost it when I was there.
What I wore was picked by other people, and my name was changed too. Everything was decided by other people, that’s not who I was at all. Like the name Wang Jingwen, they said it’ll be good for me, but I just felt it’s…
Host: If someone calls you by the name Wang Jingwen, will you turn around?
Faye: I will, but I ‘ll feel very awkward. Everything made me wonder why I was doing what I was doing. I went to the US due to some unsettled issues in my contract, I did plan to study music there.
Narrator: Faye went to study music in the US in 1991, that’s when she started to live independently.
Faye: I like New York a lot actually, when I looked at the way people walking there and their spirit, I felt that they were all confident of themselves regardless of how they looked, they didn’t care how people think of them. And that inspired me, that’s the kind of person I used to be, why did I change after I arrived in Hong Kong?
Host: Why change yourself for other people.
Faye: Right, I found my true self again, then I returned to Hong Kong and started over.
Host: I think it’s quite interesting to notice that sometimes the more you don’t intend to please people, the more people are pleased. So were you surprised when your unique style was being worshipped in later time?
Faye: I wasn’t surprised, because my intention was simple: that’s who I am, that’s how I sing.
Yapeng: It’s “Love it or hate it” for her.
Faye: I never consider that.
Yapeng: If you like it then so be it, she won’t be easy on you.
Faye: Don’t make me sound like that. I think it should not be an objective for us to please people. If people are attracted to something that you did, we should treat that as….. how should I put it?
Faye: Fate, or a gift. But it should not become your goal, as the outcome may turn out wrong.
Host: Which album or song of yours best represents your real voice and music? I don’t think “Easily hurt woman” can represent you, as you’re not that kind of woman, that’s not the Faye I know.
Faye: Of course not.
Host: So which album or song does represent you?
Faye: Actually this is a process too, there is no a particular point that can best define me. Each phase represents who I was at that time, not only my interest, but also the environment surrounding me, so I can’t put it in a specific way.
Host: I remember Zhang Yadong once said that Faye is superb. Once she steps into the recording studio she’s figured out how to perform a song, and she can get it right after singing it one time.
Faye: He’s exaggerating.
Host: Is it?
Faye: Totally. That might happen for maybe a couple songs, but definitely not every song. But of course if I really like that song I can get it right very fast, because I’m in the right mood, and I know how to bring it out. If I don’t really like the song then I’ll probably spend a little more time.
Host: The newcomers like Jay Chou or Jolin Tsai have a different taste in music, do you see that as a threat or worry that your music may fall out of trend?
Faye: It will definitely become outdated someday, there’s no point in worrying. It’s pop music, it’s inevitable to become dated someday. I am not worried about it, if I have a chance to produce music again I will still do it the way I want, I am certain there will be people who like it, so I have no worry.
Host: There are many analyses on you and your success.
Faye: I’ve read them.
Host:They tried to analyse from various aspects, but how do you interpret your success?
Faye: Like I said earlier, I don’t know what is right or wrong, I was just doing what felt right for me, and following my heart. I think it’s my luck.
Host: I don’t think so, it can’t be simply luck.
Faye: Of course talent played a part too, but it’s important to have luck.
Host: What do you think you are lucky in?
Faye: I really don’t know how to analyse my so-called “Road to success”, because I never planned it, so I never tried to analyse why it turned out this way. Like you said earlier people tried to analyse my success, and they may have their own perspective in this.
Host: Like how you were inspired by rock music, and influenced by the Hong Kong pop music and so on.
Faye: But I am not the only one who is influenced by all this, every singer is influenced by many styles as they grow up, and creates his own style eventually.
Yapeng: I think these analyses only exist because of the success, but the success didn’t happen because of those analyses.
Faye: Well said!
Host:Very talented. Do you think that the golden era of music album and music is over?
Faye: The era of music album.
Host: As should represented by you.
Faye: It’s probably over, because it’s a digital era now. Few people would buy music album, also because of the impact of music piracy, so less people would invest in production of music as they don’t have the capital and market anymore. But I believe good music will continue to exist.
Yapeng: Music would not cease to exist.
Host: What do you think your direction of music will be in the future? Will it be more of inner thoughts or spiritual? It seems to me that’s where you would go.
Faye: I suppose so too, maybe a little more aesthetic.
Host: More aesthetic?
Faye: Yes, more aesthetic in presentation.
Host: I like to know how would Yapeng rate Faye as a woman. She’s probably a woman that is hard to manage for many men, as she always has her own ideas.
Yapeng: I don’t think I need to make any more comment about that since many had done so already. To me we are just a family, we are not in a work relationship. She gained something out of the six years we had together, and I think she translates that well emotionally into the songs she perfoms.
Host: What’s your favourite song of hers? She performed so many in her concet.
Yapeng: My favourite song…
Faye: He couldn’t answer.
Yapeng: My emotions were quite complicated when I went to her concert, I couldn’t really be an audience or a family member.
Host: Switching between the two roles, so were your emotions.
Yapeng: Yes, it’s hard to be objective.
Faye: We don’t expect you to be objective.
Host: Just be honest about your favourite song. Look at him, he likes to complicate a simple question.
Yapeng: It would be“Legend”, one day I listened to this song and to my surprise the song made me…
Yapeng: Yes, the emotions were quite complicated, maybe while I was listening to the song those memories we had together were flashing through my mind like a movie.
Host: She just sighs.. all because of that one more glimpse.
Yapeng: It is quite similar to the situations when we met, caught one more glimpse (of each other) among the crowd, it’s really the case.
Faye: That’s it, stop here.
Host: Can’t say anymore. So it’s love at first sight? You’re nodding.
Yapeng: All because of that glimpse.
Narrator: In May 2005, Faye announced that she will be taking a long break from the music scene, and in July the same year, Faye and Yapeng were married.
Host: What changes do you notice happen to you during the five years of marriage?
Faye: I think I am quite contented, and quite peaceful.
Host: A nice ending!
Yapeng: Can you leave a few words for me?
Host: Your turn, Yapeng.
Yapeng: Honestly I gave up something of my own, because having her as my wife, it’s not exactly giving up.
Faye: What? Say that again.
Host: Say that again.
Yapeng: I will adjust the goals and directions of my life in order to fit into this family better, it’s not giving up, it’s adjustment and changing.
Host: How would you dissolve your stress, Faye? It’s actually more hassle for someone who is calmer, because he couldn’t share his stress and tension with anyone, he chooses to handle them himself. How do you dissolve your stress?
Faye: If I have it, then I have it. I wouldn’t talk about it with anyone when I am stressed. I don’t like to share it with anyone, because I think it’s useless, I will have to solve it myself in the end. Now I have some ways. In the past I would just let it chill down, it’ll get better later on. Now I would observe and analyse my stress. Why did it happen? Where did it come from?
Host: I just notice that you should be the one dressed in the big white robe!
Faye: I’ve been sick for too long that I can cure myself.
Host: Is there any specific method to dissolve stress that you can share with us?
Faye: Actually stress is but the manifestation of our self-conscious, we take “us” too seriously, that’s why we have stress. But it would be difficult to be able to forget our self-being, I don’t think anyone can do that. But if you realise this then I think you’ll feel better.
Host: I did an interview with Nicole Kidman few years ago, she just finished filming Cold Mountain with Jude Law. I asked her as a person in real life, does she believe that two persons waited forever because of a kiss? Or does she believe in such a story? Or that after going through everything in her love life does she still believe in love? And she said she does, she thought that sometimes a kiss is what love is all about, and nothing else. I like to ask Faye a question. You have been through a lot in your love life, do you still believe in love?
Faye: Sure I do.
Host: Everytime you would still devote yourself in a relationship, without reservation.
Faye: Erm….. I think love exists in everyone, not just in me. You can see and feel it, it sure does exist. I just think that love doesn’t last forever.
Host: Then what does last forever?
Faye: You said just now Nicole Kidman believes that two persons to wait for a kiss..
Host: She means because of a kiss, they waited forever, that’s only a story.
Faye: That’s because they couldn’t have it, if they could it may not be forever. The drive of love is like that. So I believe it.
Host: But you believe in love.
Faye: I believe.
Host: Some people who have been hurt in love may be skeptical or feel hatred towards this world or love life. Do you feel that way before?
Faye: No, because I believe in love, and I believe in fate too. I think that love and passions don’t last forever, if you insist to hold on to it you’ll be disappointed in the end. So what comes after love is… Just now I mentioned that theirs is “To love (relationship) till the end”, mine is “To love till the end”, it’s a sublimation.
Host: It has to sublimate, transform into a greater love.
Faye: Love is there. Little sparks in a blink.
Ending by host: We were all relieved when the interview was over, it wasn’t as awkward as we expected. I am grateful to them for being so open. Many tried to explain Faye’s success from the music point of view, maybe we can try that from another angle. Her courage to persist, her belief in love, resonates with our innermost desire. Love is a lesson, it teaches us to accept, forgive, tolerate, and give. Belief is also a powerful energy. Believe in youself, believe in love, we can love till the end.
Thank you for watching this episode, we’ll see you next time.
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