Qin Huai 秦淮 1938 -
Qin Huai has received many commendations and awards including the “Top 10 Far East Singers” and the “Top 10 Hong Kong Singers”, but what has endeared him to so many people is his life-long charity work. He has become known as the ‘Charity King. An extraordinary man - years ahead of his time in both thinking and action. A singer and musician ; A man of literature, ranging from fiction to non-fiction, and from poetry to essays ; A philosopher ; A man of great charity and care ; The more I read about him, the more I just thought "wow".
Born in January, 1938, Qin Huai, since his early years, was passionate about charity work. He himself knew what it was like to be young and poor, often going to neighbours to borrow rice porridge for his family to eat. In his heart, he was always thinking of orphanage children and nursing homes for the elderly. His compassion for others knew no limits, and he was always the first to lend a helping hand to others.
As he started his singing career in 1961, he was already appealing to the entertainment industry to put on charity performances to raise money for victims of disasters and for those in severe need. But for Qin Huai, helping such people in this way was not enough. Educating them towards self-welfare was also important. He particularly stressed the importance of good health at whatever age one is. He himself has been leading the way for 50 years, looking after his own health as well as anyone could. In order to help others, one must be in good health and shape oneself, and not forget one's own existence and needs, as one strives to help others.
In much of his writing, he stresses how to maintain and improve this health, not just physically and practically but spiritually and mentally. He has written at length about singing as an exercise in breathing and making maximum use of the internal organs. Also how we can express and enrich our emotions in a way that we feel so much better, as well as fully optimizing our thinking and memory faculties. He said that he only sang songs of their own creation, and never sang someone else's "saliva song." Song selection was therefore very important to fit in with the singer's energy, "chi".
Qin Huai even described how listening to a particular kind of music can improve one's well-being - how captivating melodic music can create peace of mind, helping people to forget their troubles, and feel warmth, strength, hope and love. In the process of learning, attitude is also very important - to be humble, not proud - and to be fully aware of one's strengths and weaknesses, and humbly learn from others in order to progress.
Qin Huai’s main recording career was relatively short - two LP albums and five EPs - all recorded between 1966 and 1968. However, his writing career has spanned over half a century. He celebrated the Golden Jubilee year of his writing with the release of The Selected Works of Qin Huai - a boxed set of four books: The Cradle in August: Qin Huai’s Patriotic Poems; Roses Have Thorns: The Collected Essays of Qin Huai; The Edge of Fairy Tales: Collected Proses of Qin Huai and Portraits of Ladies in Nude: The Short Works of Qin Huai.
In particular, he has given so much of his time, resources, and energy to the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) The Beacon of Light Charity Concert, held at the Kallang Theatre on Saturday, 16 January 2016, was the third of its kind to be held. Be The Light For The Blind was one of the previous events held in June 2013. As well as singing some of his most popular songs, Qin Huai invited Zhou Xiao Wan, Li Yu Jie, Ling Ying, Hong Gan Xi, Lu Fei, Long Xiao Juan, Jackson Teo, Cui Lian and Jin Lai from Malaysia with Mao Hui Ru giving a special performance. Xu Hui Min, a well-known radio DJ hosted the concert.
January 2016 was a very special month in Qin Huai's life. He married 38 year-old Li Yujie in Singapore just before his 78th birthday. Li Yujie is an artist from Qingdao city in China, and met Qin Huai at an exhibition in Singapore eight years previously. Li Yujie runs an Art Gallery in Singapore, and she and Quin Huai discovered they shared a mutual interest in Art, as well as in music. Quin Huai helped teach her to sing, and they both performed at the Beacon of Light Charity Concert.
His first marriage, to 1960s Shaw Brothers' star Yu Chien, had ended in divorce. He and Yu Chien have two sons. Sadly Yu Chien passed away in 2000. It was also the second marriage for LiYujie.
If ever there was, and is, a Beacon of Light personified - it is Qin Huai.