(My address to the prestigious guests, on the opening night of "The Symphony of Prosperity and Elegance -- The Feng Shui Art of Master Yun Long Zi", 26 April 2017)
Your Royal Highness, Prince Tesso Sisowath, also the Secretary of State of Cambodia.
We are very, very, very, very honoured to have your Royal presence with us. This is not the first time your Royal Highness are with us for an occasion that is very significant to Lotus On Water. And every single time your Royal Highness are with us, we are greatly encouraged and exalted by the grace of your Royal blessings.
Mr Marcel Bertaud, the Laurent Perrier Director of the whole of Asia.
Mr Marcel Bertaud speaks exceptionally fluent Japanese. His love, understanding and conviction of the Asian culture would put many of us Asians to shame.
Marcel and I know each other for more than a decade. You are a dear friend of mine. It is an honour, and also an emblem of our friendship to receive you as the representative of Laurent Perrier, our sponsor for the event this evening.
We are also very honoured to have, among ourselves, the most respected academicians. They are the most authoritative and influential figures in the areas of arts, languages and cultures, from the best universities and institutions in Asia.
We have among ourselves:
Professor Alan Chan Kam Leung, Dean of College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University.
He is the most magical cheer leader I have ever seen. It is a joy and we are very honoured to have you here, Professor Chan.
Professor Yow Cheun Hoe (游俊豪), Director of the Centre for Chinese Language & Culture AND the Chinese Heritage Centre, Head of Division of Chinese School of Humanities & Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University
We are very honoured to have you here, Professor Yow.
Professor Luo Fu Teng. Head of Chinese Studies, Singapore University of Social Sciences. Thank you for penning your review on my art work. We are very honoured to have you here, Professor Luo.
Professor Lee Cheuk Yin, Director of Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture at National University of Singapore. We are honoured to have you here Professor Lee.
Mr Ma XinLe (马欣乐), Vice President of the China Academy of Paintings. He is not only an academician but also an artist. His works are highly auctioned at Christie’s Auction House. And among the many famous collectors of his paintings are Queen Elizabeth the Second, Bill Clinton and David Rockefeller just to name a few. He has specially adjusted his time from founding an art foundation in Beijing, and his lectures at the Princeton University to join us this evening. I can only use the phrase 受宠若惊 – overwhelming surprises for the friendship and support he has shown me. Welcome to Singapore. We are very honoured to have you here Mr Ma.
Professor I Ruo Fen, Nanyang Technological University. Can a lady be this intellectual and at the same time look so beautiful? Look at her. We are very honoured to have you here Professor I.
Professor Goh Hock Huan of Hong Kong University. A very, very old friend of mine. Thank you for penning your review on my art work. We are very honoured to have you here, Professor Goh.
Dr Tan Li Xiang of Singapore University of Social Sciences. A very old friend of mine. If you don't understand the meaning of the word "persistence", get to know her. Thank you for penning your review on my art. We are honoured to have you here, Dr Tan.
Mr Jimmy Ye, Head of Creative Experience, Singapore Management University. A very dear and kind friend, and a very inspiring and encouraging friend as well. We are very honoured to have you here, Mr Jimmy Ye.
Some of them have been my friends for years, but most of them have been my friends for decades. Without their affirmation, we are not half this proud. Without their dedication in their fields of studies, we are not half this profound.
We also have a few school principals, most of them personal friends of mine:
Mr Low Chun Meng, Principal of Nanyang Junior College.
Mr Lawrence Chong, Principal of Woodlands Garden School.
Mr Joel Tan Kian An, retired principal and a ceramic artist. Thank you for penning your review on my art.
Mrs Tan Wie Pin, Principal of Anderson Primary School. She is here this evening with an entire platoon of parents who are very committed to education and community services – the SAC members.
Our present world is much brighter because you have dedicated your lives to engineering the lives of children yesterday. We are honoured to have you, the educationists here.
Also, I want to welcome my art teacher Mrs Valery Tan, who has been my art teacher since I was thirteen years old. She has always been inspiring; always introducing me – even to the point of pestering me – into different art forms and media. And she never stops doing that, even till today. Once a teacher, always a teacher.
I am grateful you were there for me when I was thirteen, handholding me into the gates of the wonderful world of art, and you are still here for me when I am forty five, for my first solo art exhibition.
In ancient Florence of Italy, we had the Medici family; in modern Singapore, we have the UOB, the United Overseas Bank. They are the patron of art in this country. We are honoured to have the UOB Privilege Reserve Banking team of representatives led by Mr Nigel Chua, Ms Geraldine Yeo and Mr Daniel Lau. And we thank them for inviting us to hold a private art exhibition to their most privileged clients on 25th of May this year, at the beautiful Marina Bay Financial Tower.
Speaking about Italy, we have my favourite Italian luxurious brand. We welcome Mr Ken Kress, Mr Furuzawa, Mr Peter Thewlis, Mr Mario Felisari and the team of representatives from Ermenegildo Zegna. I appreciate you for such a warm support, and I want to thank you for helping me to receive His Royal Highness Prince Tesso, with your Italiano hospitality when His Royal Highness arrived. And thank you for your collaboration in my upcoming UOB art exhibition next month. And once again thank you Laurent Perrier for sponsoring us for that exhibition as well.
The Ministers of Cambodia have also sent in their ladies to grace our opening this evening. We have Lady Sok Chanda Sophea, Minister attached to Prime Minister, Secretary General of the Council for the development of Cambodia. And Lady Min Coanna. We thank you for your elegant support.
In Singapore, we have our most prestigious heritage Hotels in Raffles Hotel and The Fullerton Hotel, in China we have the equivalent in White Swan Hotel, based in the charming city of Guang Zhou. We have their team of representatives led by Mr Deng Wenyue (邓文岳). White Swan Hotel is the only place outside of Singapore that is impossible for me to get homesick. They have intended to hold my next overseas exhibition there in November this year. So... book your plane tickets and your rooms early. Once again I thank Prince Tesso for agreeing to be the Guest of Honour there. And I thank Laurent Perrier to be my sponsor there.
We also have representatives from two celebrity Chef restaurants. From Waku Ghin we have Mr Eric Li their sommelier. You look at his beautiful figure, you feel so safe to eat.
From Bread Street Kitchen of Chef Gordon Ramsay, we have Chef Sabrina Stillhart (it's devastating, she makes us realize that the best lady chef in the world is not my grandmother), and Mr Britt Ng their sommelier. Mr Britt Ng is not just the champion sommelier of the whole Asia last year, but also the champion sommelier in my heart since seven years ago.
The Cantonese have a saying: 千金难买心头好。The fondness of the heart is worth more than a thousand pieces of gold. I go to their restaurants not just for the nourishment of the body but also for the nourishment of my soul.
Also, we have the representatives of Urban Hair, my weekly hairstylist, led by Founder Mr Eugene Ong. Going to Urban Hair doesn't give me more hair obviously, but it definitely gives me more style.
We have Miss Pandora Ip and Mr Bernard Tay, the President and Vice President of Singapore Sogetsu Society respectively.
Dr Tan Li Xiang, the president The Chinese Teachers literary Recital Society.
We also welcome the team of representatives from BullionStar, led by COO Mr Luke Chua. BullionStar is the best place to deal with Gold and Silver in Singapore.
We also acknowledge the media friends who has flown in to Singapore from all over Asia here. We welcome:
Mr Brian Yim from Millionair Asia,
Ms Arusu Pisuthipan from Bangkok Post,
Mr Sun Muning from China Radio International,
Mr Henry Yeo from Borneo Bulletin,
Ms Siaw Pei Seok from United Daily News,
Ms Suzana Chew from Artitute.
And of course, we also have you among us, the very loyal and very, very, very precious clients, members and people of Lotus on Water. You are the very reason why Lotus on Water exists. Your good fortune, and your joy, are our pride.
There are many, many more of you in the list. I cannot mention all here, if not we won't get to go home tonight. My friends, my pals, my neighbours.
Oh dear, what have I done to deserve the acquaintances and friendships from all of you? I cannot thank you enough of your support...
-- Master Yun Long Zi