Listen! Don’t look

People — By on November 20, 2012 9:57 AM
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How  secondary school teacher became Lung Siu-kwan, a singer behind a mask

By Nicole Chan

Most people would find her outfit strange, perhaps even creepy. Her face is completely hidden behind her sunglasses and a black veil. Her full-length blue and white costume covers every inch of flesh, even in the summer heat, and is guaranteed to attract stares everywhere she goes.

She is Lung Siu-kwan, a former schoolteacher now turned professional singer.

Lung started out as an anonymous internet singer whose songs gathered a strong online following and ended up being signed to Golden Age Music, a music production company founded by actress Sandra Ng Kwan-yu and her brother.

Her real identity is a closely guarded secret. A record company staff member sat next to her during Varsity’s interview with Lung and shot her intense looks whenever she responded to sensitive questions which could reveal more about her background.

Lung says her insistence on hiding her face is based on a belief that, “music should be simple.” Audiences should appreciate a singer’s voice, instead of her appearance and figure.

She first dreamt of becoming a singer as a child but feared her dream would remain no more than just that. She recalls a judge’s criticism of her when she participated in a singing contest in 2009: “You sing quite well actually, but your size is plump so showmanship on stage is not good.”

Those words devastated Lung. She started to question if appearance meant everything for a singer.

At that time, Lung weighed over 90 kg and had health problems stemming from her weight. She developed sleep apnea and would pant even after a short walk. This made her determined to go on a diet. After a year, she managed to shed 45 kg. Lung says she had an inferiority complex starting from childhood. “I come from a lower class and a single-parent family. Besides, I was a fat girl since I was small,” she says. She remembers her peers often teased her about her weight and the negative feelings stayed in her mind.

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