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The Faye Wong Autobiography
Translation of Faye's Autobiography: ALL ABOUT AH FAYE 4.0b
Edited by FAYEnomenal

People always say I'm flighty, they say I don't care, or that I'm cool to all things. But who says I don't care? It's just my personality.  Boredom is my most unbearable emotion.  Anything, if not fresh, is like a flat soft drink; I wouldn't drink a drop. During my childhood classes, when the teacher becomes boring, my attention conveniently flows away, to stroll the world of daydreams. Sometimes looking out the window at the wind, whether the March spring Beijing drizzle, or the sharp shooting sunlight, will always give me a new focus.  Aimless wandering, random thinking, but often without intent, yield unexpected intuition. Today, during work, I often get new ideas, new excitement. Allowing me to step through boredom is the work of imagination. Childhood, as memory recalls, was uneventful.  Seldom together with dad, mom, and my brother. My father was a factory engineer, often having to work. My mom was a soprano, always traveling to perform. The family was seldom together, often apart. I was under the watch of a neighbor, my god-mother.  Although my god-mother has seven children, she loves the cute and cunning me as much as her own. Without the familial love of my mother, I turned my natural dependencies and its related emotions toward my god-mother. Feelings of closeness towards my parents decrease day by day. Even if my parents are home, I'm usually occupied with wide-eyed sleep. Beautiful things seldom last. When my god-mother's daughter bore a baby, my mom thought it best not to disturb her with her new grand-daughter. Shortly after, I was sent to a daycare center. Even my childhood spirit can feel my dependencies and emotions being torn. In a large daycare center, surrounded by children of the same age, amid rambunctiousness, I was most alone, and sadness soaked through. Returning home once a week.  Whenever my god-mother returned me to the daycare center, I would always cry. God-mother would secretly spy on me, and many years later, she says when my little friends are asleep, there is only me, both eyes wide open, silently staring at the ceiling. Finally I got sick with a high fever and a head full of sores. So painful that I can only lie in bed. When my god-mother knew, emotions overcame her and she took me home. When my head moved, it would hurt, so my god-mother would hold me when I slept. When she saw me turn thin and fragile, her tears would flow. Today when I remember this event, I am moved by her love. The daycare days are long, gray, without friends I cared about, and I felt my share of loneliness. Finally, one day when I came home, I begged my mother not to send me to daycare. My mom didn't give in, and let my god-mother take me back to daycare. When I arrived at the daycare's front steps, my god-mother made me go in by myself. When she turned, I quietly followed her home. When we got home, she saw me and I scared her. When my mother came home, she took me to daycare herself. After that, my mom never forced me back to daycare. But when my god-mother's son had a child, my mom quickly sent me to Shanghai to live with my aunt. The two years in Shanghai, was my most quiet years in memory. Even my spirit has been caged! My biggest impression was that my aunt's family was strictly abstemious. Those times in China, no one lived in opulence. Meat was eaten rarely, and so were fruits.  We're always eating second rate food, half rotten fruits. But, the funny thing is, even eating the rotten fruits first, the other beautifully arranged fruits rotted in a couple of days too. Six years old, I  moved from Shanghai back to Beijing. My family was together again. Times were changing, giving me many things to think about. And I always grew silent in unhappy environments, seeking escape with my imagination, forgetting worrisome reality. Actually I care about many things, but I'm afraid of being tied down, losing my freedom to fly as I wish.  

Whenever I open the love diaries of my memories, I always see the saga between my mother and me, along with a hundred thousand question marks. Our hearts, are separated by a glass wall. Without form, it hinders familial love. Today, I finally realize that I have to feel the emotion to understand its importance. Revolutions do not form in one day. When I returned to Beijing, six year-old me went to grade school. Even though my mom said I've already grown-up, and no longer need to be baby-sat by my god-mother, but just to return to Beijing, to my mother's side, has already made me happy. School starts a new page in a child's life. When I see new things, I fall in love with it at once. In school, among the students, I slowly grew out of the loneliness of the daycare center, revealing my true liveliness and outgoing attitude. Everyday, jumping rope outside class, rubber band high jumping, and throwing bean bags, playing without a care. But my mother is very strict, always locking up my independent personality. My home, perhaps became a cage, shapelessly entrapping me. I always wanted to fly away, and that was the thing that separated us. Growing with me were the need for independence, and the thirst for freedom. When I was leaving childhood, my nervous mother was scared that I would learn bad things, always making me stay home after school, never really letting me run outside. Mother thought I was a lady, needed to be graceful, and quiet. Because of this, I grew very scared of my mother, always having to listen to her. But my fiery personality is like a wild horse, it cannot be yielded. I began to secretly slip away to play. Young heart is like a fire, once it starts burning it's difficult to stop. There was always a nice mom, then an angry mom, and she beat me a few times. Then beat me like there was no tomorrow. Being beaten while I was a student became a common thing, and I did not fight it. I only felt it was unjust. Why does she always hold me back? Back then, I just could not understand her. With my father being away, and a family with only her to lead, she cannot but be nervous, and strictness cover the heart that loves me. Every time she beats me, we would always give each other the cold shoulder. My mom and I have the same hard personality, and we're like fire and water, we can never get along. Since childhood we were never close. I would never sleep by her side, but with my father, I would sometimes be coquettish. After many days of the cold shoulder, my mom would make some of my favorite dishes, and naturally we would become close again. I can say that I can only be persuaded by positive things. 

Suddenly waking on the bed, the cricket chirps. Slowly, looking at this world, I realized calm nature is the best. At this moment, nothing in this world is worth struggling for, and no need for work to conflict with pleasure. The first winter sunlight I love the most. Warm but not hot, fresh not humid. Regardless of whether it's the distant village Beijing, or the floating southern island Hong Kong, studying in Beijing, chasing the afternoon sunlight, from one alleyway through to another alleyway, one alley after another. Days, one after another, frozen in the first winter sun, sprinting towards my beloved school yard. Coming towards me is the laughter of my friends. Coming towards me is the sun shine of my youth. Today's memories flood or waver, I will always remember this part of my light and carefree life. Grade school, elementary school, high school, except for the occasional run-in with my mom, days were carefree. Especially when I was in grade school, my grades excelled. No need to be a book worm every year and I still became number one, giving me such a light heart, I can only look down. The entrance exam for elementary school was a disaster. During the exam, I felt unaccustomed to pressure and nervousness, and under that nervousness, I did poorly. My personality has always been thus, cannot become nervous. When I'm nervous, I will fail. And like that, I was appointed to a shoddy elementary school. But it's not a big deal by my personality. Flowing with events, life is filled with the unexpected. Because here I got very good marks, I became cherished. The principal especially liked me, and my classmates treated me well. My elementary school days were filled with bright sunshine. At the time I fell in love with basketball, and volleyball. My youth was spent running around on the courts. Of course, always playing led me to into conflict with my mom. In my youthful spirit, it was only a little grey cloud, easily carried away. It didn't really bother me. Until I rose to high school. The pressure of going to university slowly turned the school into a cage. Especially in my senior high school year, everyone only had studying on their minds. The nervousness of exams. This pressure does not suit me. The whole environment only gave you one message, "If you can't get into university, you can't survive!" I also caught that fever. Studying morning and night, time no longer flew by as in elementary school. But it was at this time that cupid found me. First love, arrives quietly. He was my good friend's classmate. I don't remember how it happened. Everyone studying together, feelings accumulate drop by drop. Feeling him looking at me, like he wasn't there. I also discovered that when I looked at him, my heart would move, so indescribably comfortable. No one encouraged kids to talk about love at that time in China. But under that forbidden circumstance, we fell in love. Those days, being alone, sweet, but we could only sneak away on weekends to secretly meet. I always longed for that day to come, to see him, and say a few words, and I would be content. But those pure puppy love feelings ended after four months. Reason? Not because of anything, just that I no longer had that feeling. Love is like the wind, after a while it becomes nothing. He was very hurt, and worried both our parents. But finally, the entrance exams arrived and we had that to worry about. I finished high school, and was accepted to Fu-King University. But the day before registration, my father called and asked me to go to Hong Kong. No need to study. Soon I arrived at Hong Kong, and said good-bye to the greens of my youth. 

Fate is sometimes like an airplane's flight path; planned long in advance, but still nervous when the plane takes off. And no matter how it rises or falls, it will come to its special final destination. My inclination towards music is inherited from my mother. It was already with me, this strange angel of inheritance, growing up with me, becoming more evident. Humming tunes, singing songs, is relaxing and natural. But I have always sang more joyfully, more enthralling than anyone around me. The teacher cherished me, and involved me in many school events. Every singing and dancing show, I was sure to get the starring role, and wore the most colorful, most beautiful costumes. Being envied by hundreds of thousands of eyes, I would act with self-confidence. Clapping and cheers filled and excited my heart. To oppose a rebelling heart is a futile act. I always slipped out to attend competitions. At the time, youth frequented those places. There were many events on weekends. I would just choose an excuse, lie to my mom and rush there. Actually, back then, singing was just a natural enjoyment for me. Singing and playing, spending time, but never thought to become a singer or anything. After the University entrance exam, my father arranged for me to live in Hong Kong. He wished me to study abroad. Eighteen years old, I arrived at Hong Kong. This busy, restless, floating opportunity filled island country, made me like a child in a strange environment, eyes full or fear. It took the boring familiar Beijing life, and crushing it. Unaccustomed to the city, and also carrying a serious case of home-sickness, I still had to bear the rule of living here for a full year before I was allowed to return. My good friends in Beijing all had no telephones. We had to depend on more traditional ways of communication, quietly relieving boredom. My mood that year was like a rock sinking in a lake, impossible to rise. Sometimes my mood would be so bad that I would lose my temper no matter who was around me. Days without friends, only relying on television, novels. My boredom could not be relieved. Finally, I gathered my strength, and went to modeling class. Living in Whampoa, going to Causeway Bay alone, my mood was nervous, avoiding the crowd rushing around me, becoming more and more lonely. Finished modeling classes, walking around the block, I finally decided not to pursue that profession. That feeling was pathetic, hurrying around without any preparation. Most importantly, the clothes were not beautiful. I didn't like wearing them. Modeling classes were just a way for me to spend my time. Because my parents were already preparing to send me overseas to study next year, I had no way of imagining that I would suddenly step into a singing ring. For the purpose of relieving boredom, my father introduced to me teacher Di An Tsong to learn to sing. The joy of singing was like a long hidden fountain bursting forth to relieve my thirst. My spirit was like a small bird being released from a cage, flying to the edge of the sky. When the teacher introduced me to Chan Tsiau Bao, he was astonished by my voice, and encouraged me to sign a record contract. I wasn't too excited, only feeling, "what, go ahead and release the album then!" Leaving everything to chance. My thoughts were that it was fate which led me to singing, like an airplane finally arriving at a station in my life. 

Three years ago, under the same dawn of winter, I stepped onto the plane destined for United States, leaving behind the worries of Hong Kong life, choosing a new life: enrollment in a music school. This choice, and my decision to become a singer, release records, was a turning point in my life, but I did not realize it at the time. When my parents signed my first record contract with Cinepoly, I was only 19 years old, and there were many things I didn't understand. I was ignorant and naive. Life is like that, overwhelming but unclear, no way to hold. I don't know if it's better this way, only going by feeling...Just like that, I was enrolled in the ABU pop music contest. The one song "Still the same old phrase" won third prize. That was my first foray into the music industry. Winning the award, having my own record, did not boost my self confidence. I was still insecure. I didn't have self confidence because everything was planned for me, I didn't even complain about things I didn't like; hiding my self that way. Deep in my heart, I was still a mess. Beijing, Hong Kong, the culture clash of the two cities. They made waves in my heart, and quickly grew and changed after I stepped onto the music scene. I was in an environment where beauty and living styles were different. It was strange and scary, I was afraid to express myself. When people said something, I believed it; not having my own opinion made me feel very confused. Luckily, at that time, people appeared who had great influence in my life - Chan Tsiau Bao, Leslie Chan, Alvin Leong. Tsiau Bao is the general manager of Cinepoly, and gave me many suggestions. Tsiau Bao signed Leslie as the manager. Alvin was my record designer. My first impression of them was not too strong, but time nurtured my trust and reliance. Especially Alvin who introduced me to many different types of music, enriched my outlook and knowledge. Without worry and danger, I released my first album "The Day With No Patience", and stumbled into a golden record. People began to notice me. What I heard most was that I was a bumpkin. At the time, I didn't know what was good, and could not find a direction. The environment was too strange, I was modest, and created a misunderstanding. When I released my second album "Everything", the company found an image consultant for me. Under strict circumstances, I did as I was told. Time flowed quickly, until Chan Tsiau Bao left Cinepoly. The new General Manager, Lai, and my manager Leslie had differences and I was caught in the middle, and I became troubled. The third album "Still Waiting Again", amid their struggling, did not make the grade. I felt that singing well was useless, and must think about other things. And if things did not change, I definitely could not make the grade. Emotions rise and fall, bored without compare. Rushing back to Beijing when I had time, leaving behind all the worrisome realities. In Beijing, knowing there were music schools in USA, was like a little flame in my mind, letting it grow. When I returned to Hong Kong, the hurried feeling did not diminish a bit. Things are often like flowers, when they are at their fullest bloom, must begin to wither. If things were to change, then I must let that little flame I planted in Beijing grow into a fire, reducing everything to ashes, forgetting all the worries. I decided to study in the United States. When it happened, my moodiness had a place to go, and putting down my heavy worries was very comfortable. Although there were many voices which disagreed, I had made my decision. Happily, I went the road of Unites States. The turns and corners of people's lives, there's no way to hold. It seemed like I should not abandon, but abandonment has changed into a new life; just very lucky I guess! America. Freedom. Excited and relaxed, I arrived in America. Alone I see the skyscrapers higher than the clouds, the people and cars fighting for the roads, and the rich flavors of a modern city. The hurried industrial nation also has a calm side: grand parks, quiet side streets, and even the underground cities exuded freedom. I came and went alone. Curious, fresh, wandering the streets as I please, savoring every moment. Buy an ice-cream, licking the flowing melted ice-cream, sweet and salty. Sitting on the park bench, even as my eyes filled with orange and yellow falling leaves, the killing cold of winter, yet my heart was filled with excitement, no winter cold. What is missing, is the annoying struggling of Hong Kong, not feeling I cannot burst through the cage. That caged and self doubting feeling was swept away with one stroke. Because here, everything starts as new, I can be like a newborn infant, everything starting from the beginning. When I first arrived in America, I stayed at my aunt's place for a while, then went to New York, starting some short-term classes for singing, dancing, living on my own in my little apartment. Simple, as I please, I come and go. Although I did not have a car, but going as I please, seeing other pedestrians with self confidence also filled me with self-confidence. Rules, enriching times, whenever I learned a new insight, a piece of self-confidence will be placed onto the jig-saw puzzle that is my heart. In the air of freedom, I dared to express the real me, without reservation. There were also times of loneliness. I remember Chinese New Year's Eve, I was sick. Fever brought difficulty breathing, dizziness, and I stayed home. That big night, I stayed home my lonely self. Especially, I missed old Beijing, the cold new year breeze being called away by the neighbor's loud fire-crackers. Little children wearing big red coats, getting lucky money from their parents. Family gather for hot soup, eat dumplings, running from one alleyway through to another, knocking on doors, getting lucking money. I really miss the home village. Lying on my bed, popping of fire-crackers sounding from the nearby Chinatown, filling my sentimental heart. Whispering to the quiet empty apartment one phrase, "Happy New Year to everybody!" Those days when I was ill, I knew must tend to my health, and must not deteriorate. Although I did not know how to cook, I made sandwiches, and willed myself eat it. I was really growing up, and must take care of myself. Those American days made me more independent, more self-confident. Certainly it affected me, changed me, not in a this that fashion, but many cracks I had between people and things, gluing them together, making the person that is me today. The American days were a shelter on this long road.  

As I have said, life is not to experience one thing. One person's influence is walking hundreds of thousands of streets, occasionally discovering a piece, pieces intricately flow together to form a whole. Realizing my American spirit, undoubtedly added to my self confidence; but other than those days, there were also people who gave me that feeling. That was before my decision to go to United States, I would often return to Beijing. The familiar village can do me no wrong. At that time, I met many rock-and-roll bands, including Hi Bao and Tswai Jen. Beijing became a red hot rock and roll ground. They planned parties together, playing rock and roll music, stirring up fire in the youths, daring to question the times. In the dark and precarious times were many sincere and passion ate hearts. Living with wearisome and discontent emotions, they used the wildness of rock and roll to release pressure. Everything was done according to emotion and personality, not by economy or to earn money. Especially now that China is becoming more capitalist, who can ensure that music will not be compromised. Living in the middle of this, I never felt happier more relaxed. Recently, Heu Yung said the four Hong Kong idols, with the exception of Jacky Cheung, were clowns. I felt that what he said was not altogether incorrect. Not only the idols, but all the singers. The third rate want to be second rate  , the second rate want to become idols. To get what they want, all must sacrifice, and all become clowns. But becoming clowns does not represent anything. Clowns have value too, or else they will not exist for so long. Really, do not take what I say as an attack. Realistically, we who work in the entertainment industry often have to use phony emotions. Idol in itself is a fake image, but many people make a big deal of idols. When there is a need for a certain image demanded by the fans, the entertainer must portray that image, and become that fake person. Heu Yung and them are different in that they use music to arouse people. They are very real, if you like them, then so be it, if you don't like it, then forget it. They have no need to smile for you, no need to play games. I under stand that attitude, because I also experienced these things, which make you feel miserable. In Hong Kong, the values nurtured are pretentiousness and materialism above all. To want a position like this, this type of success, much must be sacrificed. I believe that even the four idols have personal pains. Maybe in their hearts they do not want this, but they must compromise. If Heu Yung wants to be the fifth idol, he too must become a clown. But from what I know, he is very idealistic, tactlessly saying whatever he is thinking, sharp to the point until blood is drawn. Always, I am also stubborn. I also want to sing and speak my mind like Heu Yung, and do things according to personal beliefs as much as possible. But that always brings criticism, and compromise cannot be avoided, so this struggle is often with me. Indecisively caught in the middle, sometimes I would really hate myself for compromising, criticizing myself for being like a clown. Doing tricks in a circus, that is not me. I so much wish I can do as I want, true to myself, flying with freedom.  

Returning to Hong Kong to release records, my feelings were simply to complete the record contract. At the time, I did not drop out of school, but wrote a letter saying I want to postpone my education temporarily. I was prepared to finish the record, then return to school. But the album "Coming Home" changed my situation, especially the song "Fragile Woman". It made me widely recognized, and the popular notion was "She's Hot!" But the person in the middle of all this, me, had another feeling. Actually I did not feel any different. Without question, this song gave me much hoopla, but I did not echo that feeling. And that many people started to like me, that feeling was not immediate, but came very slowly, trickling into my life. From that rose the question, should I go or stay, go or not go? Emotional instability! Go, I could finish what I wanted, nurturing myself, and learn what I felt to be insufficient music knowledge. Stay, I would miss my chance to study, but I could try what I wanted to do. Finally, perhaps as fate had planned, I stayed, and became what I am today. That day, the most important reason for me to stay was that I be involved with the creation of the music. Feeling I could express what I thought and felt, gave me a kind of exuberance. I very much wished I could express more, contribute more. These years, everything was successful. The popular exterior, in the depth of my heart, sometimes regret that day when I chose not to leave. Because today I again feel I have dropped into the same situation as when I first started singing. Everything little thing I do, everywhere is the sound of compromise. Pressure is becoming bigger and bigger, space is becoming smaller and smaller. Said plainly, I cannot do what I want to do. I am not afraid to face it, because in my heart I know I could return to school, to study and improve, taking the current faults, and repair them. Without doubt, I will never deny, these years, I was luck. The grades are there. But regarding individual worth, those are floats, and are only the exterior. Just like the album sells well, the concerts are sold out, and I will be content? My reply is "No". Not that what I want is excessive, not that I have high self proclamation. It's just that everyone has individual ideals. That resolution I understand best. Good or bad, successful or failure, resolute or compromise, I can always clearly tell myself. Standing at a distance, looking at my situation, understanding the cliques of the Hong Kong entertainment industry. Popular and unpopular groups, all criticize each other. Everyone has a different view of music, why must we be so intolerant! Seeing the narrowness of space in the music industry, I cannot do the music I want, and feeling very caged, annoyed. Suddenly, I want to quit everything, and work no more, just like life, just be good, no need long.  

In certain circumstances, one must be resolute, and cannot solve everything through compromise. I want to do what I believe to be right. These days, every day I am busy preparing for concerts. Before everything, I have said I do not want this concert to be full of theatrics, no need for a hundred changes. I just want to be simple and pure, singing my songs, using music to express myself. During the concert, I even spoke very rarely. In my opinion, my conversation is the worst, the most inadequate communication tool. But everyone in this world heavily relies on it, and that lead to many misunderstandings. Certainly, everyone has different personalities. The same words in your and my hearts have different translations, different meanings. Like a beam of sunlight at a corner of an empty house, looking through different windows will yield different forms. Standing under  the movie screen of speech, I became a lonely person. Although I was conscious and aware, but consciousness has its pains, especially seeing that I must, at the end, compromise. Sometimes I really want, just to easily enjoy the joys of life, but finally I know I am myself, and must realistically see the world. Undeniably, today I do not have enough strength to do what I want to do, and that is something of a result of the Hong Kong entertainment scene. Currently, questions follow me, I cannot change my surroundings. Just like the concert, I said I hate fancy images, did not wish to change the hairstyle, did not want to constantly change. I just want to become myself, plainly and truly use music to move the spectators. Music is without nationality, and can be a common communication 'language'. I wish to use it to express myself, even working hard to learn how to use it to express what I wish to say. This many years, I walked my own path, experienced many things. Everything is worth my recording. Never to have traveled those roads, also will not have today's me. In the paths of my life, Buddhist philosophies have enlightened me, and reaching them are an occasional opportunity. Those times in United States, strolling the Chinatown streets and bookstores, I saw books concerning Buddhist teachings. I bought them and read about the sorrows of the Buddhist people. The concept of reincarnation gave me a better comprehension of compassion. It gives everyone the opportunity to change and pacify their hearts. Today's every tragedy, previous life's every cause. Understand human goodness and evil. These thoughts help me face difficulties, disappointments, and from the roots, look at the world. Although many people see me today, and feel that I am not bad, but I know I am still inadequate. I still want to improve my music. I know I will finally one day return overseas. About my Hong Kong career, it's not that I don't understand how to treasure, but rather I know what I am missing. Until one day, I suddenly quit, with no regrets.