Leslie Cheung remains one of the city’s most recognisable faces. The late singer and actor shaped the identity of Canto-pop during his 26-year-long career. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his untimely passing. As a tribute, several events are taking place in Hong Kong to commemorate the legendary pop star’s illustrious career and life.
In his glorious 26-year career, Cheung has released over 40 albums and starred in over 50 films. He is best known for his incredible performances in movies like Days of Being Wild (1990) and Happy Together (1993). Cheung’s popularity reached pan-Asia after the release of Farewell My Concubine (1993). The actor and singer is also praised for his openness about his sexual orientation and for becoming a queer icon.
Twenty years after his death, the actor is still widely celebrated in pop culture. His close friends, collaborators, and fans are participating in a few events in Hong Kong, showcasing his lasting legacy.
Timeless Leslie Encounter
Olympian City is hosting an event titled “Timeless Leslie Encounter,” narrating 20 stories that friends and fans have with Cheung. The sharing session on March 31 will feature Cheung’s good friends and collaborators. They will share their stories of meeting and interacting with the beloved Hong Kong star, while singer Mike Tsang will perform one of Cheung’s songs. The star’s companions will also showcase memorabilia in their collections, including the “Leslie Cup” trophy from the mahjong competition Cheung organised in 1993.
Throughout the event, a 430-inch TV displaying 20 video clips of Cheung and a sizeable digital mosaic of 3,000 photos taken by fans will be available for viewing. In addition, a neon light wall will highlight the late actor’s memorable accounts. Eight of his songs, such as Chase, Wind Blows On, and Enduring Together, will play on repeat via a self-playing piano.
When: Now until April 2
Where: Olympian City, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong
Pop Culture Festival
The Leisure and Culture Services Department (LCSD) is organising the first-ever Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival to highlight Hong Kong’s cultural prowess, creativity, and preservation of pop culture. There will be about 20 programmes, including seven performing arts programmes, four thematic film screenings, and more. One of the main events will pay tributes to late acting stars, Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui.
The programme “When Leslie & Anita Met Hei & Gin” will see renowned music producer Chiu Tsang-hei select four theme songs from Cheung and Mui’s films. The songs will be accompanied by excerpts from movies and performed by singer Gin Lee. Thereafter, a screening of the film, Who’s the Woman, Who’s the Man (1996), which stars Cheung and Mui, will take place.
Another event, “Film Songs Singing Along”, will have up-and-coming singers lead audiences to sing songs from Cheung’s and Mui’s movies.
When: Starts on April 22
Where: Various venues across Hong Kong
Miss You Much Leslie Exhibition
Part of the Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival, this exhibition will showcase a selection of photos from guest curators, who are also Cheung’s close friends. They are registered social worker-turned-entrepreneur Florence Chan, production and costume designer William Chang, and photographer Wing Shya. Join them as they take visitors on a journey through time, looking back on Cheung’s achievements and his influence on Hong Kong’s pop culture.
When: March 29 to October 9
Where: Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Open Space, 2/F, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
Reminiscing Leslie Cheung: 20th Anniversary Exhibition
The MTR Corporation is joining hands with Art And Piece, a Chinese-language periodical dedicated to art, design, and culture for the “Reminiscing Leslie Cheung: 20th Anniversary Exhibition” at the Hong Kong Station. Visitors can see different memorabilia related to Cheung from his friends and fans, as well as illustrations from local artists.
A life-sized bust of Cheung at a 1:1 scale is on display. Most paper exhibits come from celebrities who worked with Cheung over the years, including lyricist Andrew Lam, directors Vincent Kok and Stanley Kwan, as well as costume designer Dora Ng. They also share memories with Cheung in video interviews shown at the exhibition.
When: Now until April 6
Where: Hong Kong MTR Station (paid area next to Exit/Entrance C)
HKT x WESTK POPFEST: I Am What I Am – A tribute to Leslie Cheung
A multimedia tribute to Cheung is happening over the course of three days at the West Kowloon Cultural District! Artist Daniel Chu and vocalists Janice Vidal and Walter Kwan will be revisiting important moments in Cheung’s career through music. Tune along to classic songs such as Chase and I Am What I Am, made popular by the enigmatic star.
When: March 30 to April 1
Where: Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District
Nomad (Director’s Cut) at the 47th Hong Kong International Film Festival
The film Nomad (Director’s Cut) by Patrick Tam, with Cheung in the lead role, will be screening at the 47th Hong Kong International Film Festival under the Chinese-language Restored Classics category. The 4K restored version of the 1982 classic will be making its world premiere at the festival. It tells the experiences of a group of friends looking for meaning in life. The film is considered a representative of the Hong Kong New Wave, a film movement that emerged in the late 1970s. Cheung plays Louis, a wealthy young man who is grappling with his mother’s death.
When: April 2
Where: Premiere Elements, Shop 2130, 2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Cheung remains in the hearts and memories of Hongkongers.