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. 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, the more I 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
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 4 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 & Portraits of Ladies in Nude: 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 radio DJ, hosted the
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
If ever there was, and is, a Beacon of Light personified - it is Qin Huai.