Almost 2 million origami models made by fans in memory of singer-actor Leslie Cheung (張國榮) are being displayed in Hong Kong at an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of his death.
The “Miss You Much Leslie Exhibition” at the Times Square shopping mall is one of many memorial events in his hometown.
Many fans discovered Cheung after his passing.
“I really miss him, and I regret that I did not get to know him until 2009,” said Kang Lizhen, a Chinese who was born in 1990.
Those who discovered him after his death feel like they lost a friend, said one such fan, Marie A. Jost.
“There will be no new works, no new events, no news of Leslie ... It really does feel that we’ve lost a dear, dear friend,” Jost said.
Cheung killed himself by jumping off the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on April 1, 2003. His death came at a dark time for his hometown, as Hong Kong was hit with the SARS epidemic. Hundreds died in the illness outbreak that also crippled the Hong Kong economy and cast a gloomy pall on the normally vibrant and energetic territory.
Cheung, who was 46 when he died, made several hit albums and starred in classic films including 1987’s A Chinese Ghost Story, director John Woo’s (吳宇森) A Better Tomorrow and Chinese director Chen Kaige’s (陳凱歌) Farewell My Concubine.
A memorial concert was held on Sunday and Cheung’s fans mark his death anniversary each year by visiting the hotel where he committed suicide. One wall of the hotel is covered in flowers, candles and posters of the singer and actor.
Fans sent in volumes of crafted paper this year to try to set a Guinness record for most origami made for a cause. Organizers said 1,900,119 were collected.
The memorial origami pieces are displayed in a transparent archway above a large statue of Cheung at the entrance to the exhibition, and one large, red origami piece sits in the statue’s open palm. The exhibition showcases costumes from his concerts, and a mini-theater plays films and interview clips.