Experienced in the music, film, television, and radio industry, Vivian Chow (周慧敏) was an all-rounder entertainer. Most of her albums received platinum certification; her television dramas and films were well-received, and she was once a very popular DJ for RTHK.
Known as Hong Kong’s “Jade Girl,” Vivian’s career was under tight scrutiny. At her impressive rate of success in music and film, observers believed that Vivian’s career would move nowhere else but up. But in 1997, after the release of her second Japanese album I Want to See You <我想見你>, Vivian announced her retirement from singing. She stated that she would move to Vancouver, Canada, with her then boyfriend, Joe Nieh (倪震), and live a quiet life.
Vivian returned to Hong Kong in 2003 and married Joe in 2009. Though she performed at several comeback concert tours – and even released an album, the 2011 Cantonese album Bansai <盆栽> – Vivian ultimately decided that it was best to settle down quietly and dedicate her time and energy to charity.
She said, “My career is over. As a public figure, and still with some physical energy left in me, I want to grasp onto the opportunities to do [charity].”
Living with Different Families
In the last several years, Vivian represented various charity organizations to visit third world countries. Last month, she represented World Vision International to visit the Sri Lankan city of Mullaitivu, where she visited a struggling family of 16 members.
“Everywhere I go I saw the destruction that were left behind from bombs,” said Vivian as she was describing her experience in Mullaitivu. “I went to visit a family of 16 members. The men of the family all died, and the only one left was a grandmother to take care of the children. They lost everything, and I hope our program would be able to help them through this trying time.”
Vivian’s time in Sri Lanka made her realize that happiness is not inevitable and that many necessities in life may not be necessary after all.
“With every visit, I would feel love and enlightenment. Whenever I see other people lacking even the most basic necessities, I would learn how to let go of myself. There are many more people out there who needs much more.”
After her trip to Mullaitivu, Vivian visited the Rideegama Divisional Secretariat, a sub-division in the Kurunegala District of Sri Lanka. There, she visited the 8-year-old Waka, her eighth sponsored child. Vivian also expressed that she was doing paperwork to sponsor Waka’s younger sister. “I want to sponsor his elder brother too, but he has surpassed the age limit.”
Vivian also spent a night living with a Sri Lankan family. She said, “At first I pondered about whether or not I could do it. Then I decided that this may be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I said yes. When the family’s wife knew I was staying over, she was really happy, and prepared for my visit for an entire month. She’s never had guests stayed over before. She gave me their best room and best food. On that quiet night, memories of my childhood came flashing back to me, as I also stayed in a wooden house when I was younger.”
Opens Own Production Studio
Earlier, rumors claim that Vivian intends to open up her own management company and plans to sign new artists under her label. Vivian laughed and said that the rumor was just a beautiful misunderstanding, but did admit that she had opened a production studio of her own.
“The reason for starting the company was because my longtime manager passed away earlier this year. We are not planning to sign any new artists anytime soon. At the present time, the company is focusing on my schedules and activities. We are currently very focused on producing my Christian album.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.