Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Faye Wong, or Wong Fei (王菲; pinyin: Wáng Fēi) (born August 8, 1969) is an extremely popular Chinese singer and is well-known throughout Asia. She has acted in several films, most memorably in Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express, a role that garnered international acclaim and nabbed the award for "Best Actress" at the 1994 Stockholm Film Festival . Recently, she put in an acclaimed turn as a robot experiencing its first emotions in Wong Kar Wai's art-house success, "2046". First known as sweet-voiced singer, she morphed into an "enfant terrible", and now stands as one of the few "divas" in the Asian music scene, a singer whose taste and choices (in music as well as fashion) follow no dictates but her own.
Born in Beijing, People's Republic of China she moved with her family to Hong Kong and began her musical career in the late 1980s, releasing a few albums under the stage name Shirley Wong (王靖雯, py Wáng Jìngwén).
In 1991, she made a short trip to New York for vocal studies and burst onto the Hong Kong music scene the same year with the album Coming Home, which incorporated R&B influences and was a drastic change in musical direction from the more traditional Cantopop fare of her earlier albums.
Since then, she has shed the R&B influence and had moved on to produce works of considerable originality and a more alternative flavor. By 1994, she had changed her Chinese name back to "Wong Fei" (王菲) for all subsequent releases.
1996 saw the release of what many would consider her boldest and most artistically coherent effort to date, Restless. The album contains mainly her own compositions, with an aesthetic inspired by the Scottish ambient/ethereal group, Cocteau Twins, who also contributed 2 of their songs for the album. Wong had previously covered the Cocteau Twins on her 1994 album, Random Thoughts, and had since established a remote working relationship with the band, laying down vocals for a track on the Asian version of their 1995 album, Milk And Kisses. Simon Raymonde & Robin Guthrie further contributed 2 other compositions, but only one of them showed up on Wong's 1997 self-titled follow-up.
She has covered songs in Chinese by western artists such as Tori Amos, The Cranberries, and The Sundays in the earlier years of her career. The Decadent Sounds of Faye Wong in 1995 was a covers album containing unique renditions of songs originally done by her childhood idol Teresa Teng, a revered singer in Chinese music active around the 1960s, who died shortly before its release. While "Decadent Sounds" suffered negative criticism initially, it has come to be recognised as a classic among her fans and is held as an example of imaginative covering by recent critics.
While most of her earlier albums prior to 1996 were sung in Cantonese, Wong has almost consistently sung in Mandarin ever since. Having gone through a stage of experimentation, Faye has stated that she now wishes to produce "music that I like. I do not care if others don't, though I would be delighted if they do".
Wong has a daughter named Dou Jingtong (竇靖童) born on January 3, 1997 with ex-husband and musical partner Dou Wei (竇唯, py Dòu Wéi), a prominent musician in his own right. The baby's voice appears on the title track of the album Only Love Strangers released in 1999, as well as in the song "Child" (童, py Tóng) on the album Song Journey (唱遊, py Chàngyóu).
Her claim to fame in the Western world is the title song "Eyes on Me" for the video game Final Fantasy VIII, for which she was reportedly paid one million dollars. She went on to do commercials for Pepsi in the 2000s, and continues to put out best-selling albums.
The Chinese titles are official; there are no official English titles (other translations are possible). However, some albums like Di-Dar and Coming Home have only English titles.
- 將愛 To Love (2003)
- 王菲 Faye Wong (2001)
- 寓言 Fable (2000)
- 只愛陌生人 Only Love Strangers (1999)
- 唱游 Song Journey (1998)
- 王菲 Faye Wong (1997)
- 浮躁 Restless (1996)
- 菲靡靡之音 The Decadent Sounds of Faye Wong (1995)
- Di-Dar (1995)
- 一人分飾兩角 One Person, Two Roles (1995 EP)
- 討好自己 Ingratiate Myself (1994)
- 胡思亂想 Random Thoughts (1994)
- 天空 Sky (1994)
- 迷 Mystery (1994)
- 十萬個為甚麼 Hundred Thousand Whys (1993)
- 執迷不悔 No Regrets (1993)
- Coming Home (1992)
- You're the Only One (1990)
- Everything (1990)
- 王靖雯 Shirley Wong (1989)
- 2046 (2004), directed by Wong Kar-Wai
- Leaving Me, Loving You (2004)
- Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002)
- Okinawa Rendez-vous (2000)
- Chungking Express (1995) directed by Wong Kar-Wai
- Beyond's Diary (1991)
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