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Return to People Archive S - W
Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming
- actor - singer -

The last of the perfectionists, Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming was born on June 16, 1962. Wong is best known as one half of Tat Ming Pair (the other half is quirky and creepy Tats Lau), the most popular HK alternative, New Wave/New Romantic band of the eighties. Collaborating with some of the best contemporary lyricists, Tat Ming Pair's songs captured Hong Kong during one of its most prosperous eras. Wong has also found success as a solo artist with his distinctive brand of music, which can be descibed as atmospheric, nostalgic, yet progressive with flourishes of decadence and existentialism. Wong has proven to be a master at infusing new elements into older songs as well, recently covering classics written by renowned composer Joseph Koo Ka-Fai. In 1999, Wong formed the independent label and production company “People Mountain People Sea” with some of his musician friends. The company has produced music for artists like Faye Wong, Cass Pang, and Eason Chan, and discovered and signed some of the more interesting musical acts to emerge on the scene recently, like At17 and Pixel Toy. However, audiences have remained fiercely loyal and passionate for Tat Ming Pair, as proven by the excitement and support for Wong and Lau’s reunion in 1996, and most recently for their 20th Anniversary reunion concerts in December 2004.

Though he is first and foremost a musician, Wong is also an avid film lover who can often be found making the rounds during film festival season in Hong Kong, and lists German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder among his favorite directors. In addition, his songs are filled with various movie references* and his music has been featured in films like 4 Faces of Eve (1996), Hold You Tight (1998) and Running on Karma (2003). Originally intending to become a director, Wong entered TVB’s Artist Training Class in 1981, where his classmates included Andy Lau and director Jacob Cheung. After graduating, he worked as a production assistant at TVB for two months before growing disillusioned with the job (which was apparently akin to that of a gofer) and quitting. Afterwards, Wong shifted gears and worked as a DJ at Commercial Radio for a year before answering an ad placed by Tats Lau, who was looking for a lead singer—and the rest is history.

You’d never know Wong was an art house aficionado by looking at his acting filmography. Wong made his acting screen debut in a teen romance flick called Kiss Me Goodbye (1986), for which he was nominated for a HK Film Best New Artist Award. This was followed by the A Chinese Ghost Story clone Golden Swallow (1987), which co-starred Cherie Chung, and a very small cameo in Iceman Cometh (1989) as the emperor of the Ming Dynasty. The most “artsy” film among Wong's credits is probably Evans Chan’s political To Liv(e) (1992), in which he plays a character who struggles with his relationship with his fiancée (an older woman played by Josephine Koo), and his parents’ disapproval of her. Despite his experience, Wong has admitted that acting is far from his strong point and that he is not entirely comfortable working within the confines of someone else’s vision (namely the director’s). Instead, Wong professes to be much more at home on the stage and has worked extensively with the independent experimental theatre group “Zuni Icosahedron” since his DJ years. (Yinique 2005)

*Some Tat Ming/Anthony Wong song titles borrowed from films and literature: Love is Colder Than Death (Fassbinder), Rear Window (Hitchcock), Cruel Story of Youth (Oshima), “Forbidden Colour” (Yukio Mishima), “Eighteen Springs” (Eileen Chang), “Love in the Time of Cholera” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), “Little Prince” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). Many people think Wong’s hit song “Chun Gwong Ja Sit” (roughly translated as “A Glimpse of Spring”) was named after Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together (1997), but its source is reportedly actually Michaelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966), which shares the same Chinese title.

selected filmography
(actor unless otherwise noted)
Kiss Me Goodbye (1986)
Golden Swallow (1987)
Iceman Cometh (1989)[cameo]
To Liv(e) (1992)
Little Woman (1993)
King of the Sea (1994)
01:00 A.M. (1995)
4 Faces of Eve (1996)[producer only]
Ming Ming (2007)[music only]
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