Monday, 1 April 2013

Memories Still Fresh

It says it all -- a bus shelter poster in Central
Ten years ago today, Cantopop star and actor Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing stepped outside the gym on the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental and then jumped to his death.

Flower arrangements lined along the Mandarin Oriental
Every year there are bouquets of flowers near the spot where he died and this year was no exception.

This afternoon I walked by them, two rows of them and just enough room on the sidewalk for people to squeeze by. Luckily today is Easter Monday so the whole road was shut down because it was a public holiday and so there were many people who came here to pay homage throughout the day.

In fact there were probably even more than before, many of the flower arrangements in the shape of hearts with messages like 哥哥想你! Older brother we miss you! Some were from fans from Japan, Singapore, Guangzhou...

Other flower arrangements were from individuals who were hard-core fans -- even one that spelled out "Leslie" in red roses.

Every April 1, Cheung's fans congregate here to remember
Cheung was a product of the star system, rising up the ranks of TVB and no doubt his good looks helped him along the way. But he really was an artist, and in his later years keen to take on interesting projects and discover different ways to express himself -- even leaving his hair long...

In the end we still don't know why he committed suicide, which may be why people are still so upset by his death. It was a bad year -- particularly with SARS happening at the same time.

Many of my Hong Kong friends on Facebook have posted their memories of him -- one even had a picture with him in the 1990s -- lucky girl! They all miss him very dearly, his humble roots making him much like an older brother they all wish they had.
Many heart-shaped flowers like this one

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