Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Entering the industry at the age of 15 and hailing from the home of Michelle Yeoh, he was among the "Top Ten Singers" of Malaysia for four years in the run before moving on to develop his acting and performing career in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but with mediocre results. Recently under the guiding hand of Lee Tim Sing, he has returned to Hong Kong and joined TVB becoming an uprising star and ready to start afresh and spread his wings again.

Recently on the picture box, you will notice Auguste Kwan a lot, pairing up with Cerina de Graca on new show "Gam Pai Bing Yan" (Better Halves), both with imperfect Cantonese often becoming the brunt of Steven Ma and Joyce Coi's jokes. He says: "You can imagine American accent plus Malaysian accent would cause quite an amusing scene!"

His time at TVB has not been long, but the other artistes treat him like one of the family, making him feel very strongly the homeliness of the Hong Kong people: "People say that Hong Kong people's feelings are as thin as paper, but in the time I have been in HK, I feel that everyone has been very friendly." Auguste has come to Hong Kong on his own and is living alone, so when he goes back to TVB, many artistes such as Mimi Lo, Maggie Cheung and Helena Law will take it upon themselves to make him soup. He says as he revives his memories: "The most touching time was when Uncle Chi (Liu Kai Chi) ran from the old canteen to the new canteen to look for me, passing me a flask of lovely soup. At the time, he had injured his leg and I really didn't know what to say."

This time, Auguste's signing with TVB has all been thanks to the work of Lee Tim Sing. He says: "Brother Tim was introduced to me through my agent and saw the film "Lit Fo Ching Chun" (Roaring Fiery Youth) then he asked me to go for a screen test along with two other artistes, finally he asked for me, but at the time I had gone to Taiwan to work there and lost out on that chance. Afterwards, Tim looked for me again, saying he had a good role for me but I had to sign with TVB." He thought about it for a long time and decided to let go of his singing career in Taiwan and come to develop himself in Hong Kong.

In fact, while he was in Taiwan, a HK film company had already asked him to appear in some youth films and he had worked with Miriam Yeung, Bondy Chiu, Simon Yam and Eason Chan before. Did he think he was going to become a top lead after signing for TVB? He laughs out loud and says: "My target is just to do a good job and constantly improve. As for whatever top male lead or first male lead, these cannot be controlled. Like money and fame, this is not what I am chasing for, if you do things well and successfully then these things will follow, you can't work the other way round otherwise you will fail. I believe that Edison didn't invent for fame and fortune, but what he did invent made him famous."

The optimistic Auguste believes that you must be able to let go before you can gain more, if you will never let go of what you have, then you will never find another opportunity. Because of this, he has travelled from Malaysia to Hong Kong onto Taiwan and back to Hong Kong again with the motto of "treasure every opportunity", always learning and always improving.

As well as acting and singing, Auguste's other talent is drawing. From the time he was drawing on the walls as a three year old, he gained the encouragement from his mother and displayed his amazing talent for drawing. In his primary schooldays, he was already the idol of his schoolfriends who all asked him to draw them a cartoon character. Always eager to learn, he felt that his skill was not enough so at the age of 13, he decided to join a comic book publisher as an apprentice, boldly taking pieces of his own work to apply and eventually succeeding becoming the youngest employee of the company. He says: "Although the wages from the publishers wasn't enough to cover my expenses, but it was a chance to learn and in my teens I had already had my own mini exhibition." Especially skilled at drawing images of figures, even Auguste's choice of English name was influenced by two famous artists. The people he draws come from different classes and sometimes he will draw self portraits. One of his recent creations was inspired by George Lam's concert, showing George Lam conducting the orchestra and himself playing the violin.

Auguste also introduced his favourite creation, a picture of a very strong charactered woman, incorporating a feeling of Eastern and Western infuences and wearing a mixture of modern and classical clothing. He hopes that this picture will allow him to show a good harmony of Yin and Yang and from contradiction will be balance. Although he has put away his pens a long time ago, he went along with the request of the reporter and displayed his skills immediately and with little effort a normal coloured pencil was magicked into a tool that can turn the ordinary into a rainbow and with a few strokes he had made a lively creation.

Epilogue: Those who have met Auguste Kwan say that he looks like Aaron Kwok, especially a wet look picture that is the image of Aaron when he first appeared, even the photographer exclaimed: "It really looks like him!" Studying him carefully, you will find that when he turns his head slightly, there is an angle that is very similar to Aaron's. When this was discussed with Auguste and his nickname of "Malaysia's Aaron Kwok", he seemed quite bothered about this, after all no-one wants to be the shadow of someone else and now he has built up his own image and character. He hopes that he will make a success for himself in the showbiz industry and hopes this will be as great as Aaron's.


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