Acrylic on Canvas | 30cm by 30cm | Completed on 28 July 2012
One of the most celebrated Cantonese pop stars of all time, Anita Mui has led a life that is, ironically (and sadly), not quite worth celebrating.
Born into a poor family, she was forced into performing on the streets at a tender age of four. At the age of 19, she exploded to stardom after winning the first New Talent Singing Awards (1982). After producing 50 albums, performing in over 300 live concerts and starring in more than 40 movies, Anita Mui’s fame peaked in 2003, when she died (at the age of 40) 3 months after publicly announcing her diagnosis of cervical cancer.
I am admittedly not her greatest fan, but the story of her life has nonetheless left a deep imprint in my mind. One of her most symbolic moments happened during her final concert, when she appeared on stage dressed in a wedding gown. Her message was one that is resigned: she have decided, after failing to find love in her life, to marry the stage, a place where she has devoted most of her life to. (watch the video here)
A tribute to Anita Mui, this painting uses strokes of bright colours to portray her extremely short but vibrant life. But amidst the brilliant streaks of paint, one could sense a tinge of insanity; a reflection of her seemingly irrational choice to forgo surgical therapy in order to remain a ‘complete’ woman. This painting was a birthday gift to my friend, who today remains a fervent fan of Anita Mui.