人有悲歡離合，月有陰晴圓缺，此事古難全. (蘇軾 水調歌頭) These famous lines from a poem of the Sung dynasty mean: “People have sorrow and joy, separation and reunion, just as the moon is sometimes dark, sometimes bright, and sometimes full, sometimes crescent. From time immemorial there has never been any complete satisfaction.”
After your triumphant Japan Fan Meeting in Yokohama, I bet you were looking forward to another two jubilant performances in Beijing and Shanghai. You enjoy such rapport with your Chinese fans who, though they have seen quite a lot of you lately, do not seem to have enough.
You’re practicing hard for these Chinese fan meetings in three years, eradicating all the little mistakes made in Yokohama, perhaps even altering the program somewhat to suit your Chinese audience. You’ve made new costumes; you want your Chinese fans to be in for a surprise.
And then you found out things were not as they should be. The Chinese organizers had not lived up to their side of the bargain. Something was not quite right in their preparation and arrangement in the lead-up to the FM.
Otekay? Otekay? What to do? What to do? The only thing to do is 壯士断臂* which was exactly what you did. [*ED: Please go online to find the origin of this Chinese proverb, literally, strong fighter cutting off his arm, meaning for the greater good, for more comprehensive interests, giving up part of present interests.] You found that you had no choice but to opt out of an untenable situation.
But why was this announcement not made officially by Hoo Factory (instead of on Sihoorang)? In the first place, Hoo Factory never officially announced your China Fan Meeting which caused a lot of confusion and doubt.
When I saw that video of your purported Mid-Autumn Festival greetings (without any mention of the Mid-Autumn Festival) on September 8, I instantly knew you must have made that video to publicize the still-in-the-air China Fan Meeting when you were in China for “Scent” premiere in August. The organizers jumped the gun in releasing that video, right? Chinese fans’ reaction immediately reached fever pitch. The organizers were forcing your hand, no? Couldn’t you have stopped it then? You haven’t ironed out the contract?
You probably didn’t know the organizers didn’t apply for the permit until a week after they released that video. They were obviously testing the waters. I was so worried about the limited time frame to sell tickets. How could they sell 2,700 tickets in Beijing and 2,000 tickets in Shanghai in 2 weeks? Nobody knew how to buy tickets or how much the tickets cost. Rumors were rife.
When tickets finally went on sale, first privately at Baidu and then publicly on the web, I was at first delighted and then became suspicious that the most expensive tickets were all sold out beforehand. Soon 80% of the tickets were sold in Beijing. (I couldn’t see Shanghai ticket situation.)
But then there sprang up unofficial ticketing sites online (interestingly, Taiwan Taobao) which claimed to have front row seats (at exorbitant prices, of course.) Ticket scalpers were at work. I was told this was not unusual, that only the hottest stars merited such treatment as a matter of “face”.
I monitored the ticketing situation every day and got more and more suspicious and worried as the FM dates drew nearer and nearer. Meanwhile, many fans from other parts of China and other countries were preparing to leave for Beijing and Shanghai.
And then came the bombshell from SHR two days ago. Why, oh why, was this important announcement made on SHR – in Korean and English – when Chinese fans were the most affected? Why didn’t Hoo Factory make an official announcement on Weibo – in Chinese? Are you aware those unofficial ticket sites are still open? Do you know there are Chinese fans still asking yesterday where tickets could be bought? HF released Youtube videos about the China fan meetings on Facebook and Twitter, so why didn’t you make a proper announcement about the cancellation?
Were you afraid Chinese fans would be angry, disappointed, mad? Can you blame them? BUT all they cared about was you and your well-being. Almost with one voice, they assured you it was all right. They understood it was not your fault. They knew you would feel bad; they didn’t want you to put too much pressure on yourself. They wanted you to eat well, sleep well, and take care of yourself. As long as you’re OK, they’re OK. And they pledged anew their love and support for you.
Do you feel the love, Sihoo-ssi? How can you not love fans like these? Whatever happens, they will always be there for you. And not just your Chinese fans; your international fans are here for you as well. So you have nothing to worry about, at least where your loyal fans are concerned. Some may be alienated, but true fans will stay.
塞翁失馬，焉知非福 - another famous Chinese saying, meaning a loss may not be a bad thing after all. Your China Fan Meeting came to nothing this time, but who knows? this could be a blessing in disguise. Greater things may lie in store for you. I have faith in you; I (and all PSH4U members) stand solidly behind you. I am looking forward to next year, as Chinese astrologers have already warned “Horse” people can expect trouble this year. Another few months to the new lunar year, and a new chapter of your life will begin — a glorious, splendid, magnificent new performance!
And I want a ringside seat.
(Credits: Photo from http://gall.dcinside.com. Thanks!)