Ms Pak Suet Sin



Also known as Chan Suk Leung, Cantonese opera virtuoso and film actress Pak Suet Sin was the daughter of illustrious opera artist Pak Kui Wing. At the tender age of 12, she apprenticed under maestro Sit Kok Sin and, at 16, was already the principal artist of Kam Tim Fa Opera Troupe. In 1942, Pak made the acquaintance of virtuoso Yam Kim Fai in Macau and from then on the two developed a seamless partnership that lasted decades. In 1956, they founded Sin Fung Ming Opera Troupe, which created a number of “scholar and beauty” pieces. Pak had joined the film industry before the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, but it was in the 1950s that she became famous for her wilful and capricious on-screen persona, such as in How the Red Maid Thrice Mocked Cheung Kwun-shui (1952) and How the Scholar Tong Pak-fu Won the Maid Chau-heung (1957). Many of Sing Fung Ming’s stage works were adapted into movies, including The Flower Princess, The Legend of Purple Hairpin, Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom and The Lion’s Roar (all 1959). In 1968, Pak retired after her farewell performance in Tragedy of the Poet King. She was honoured with the Life Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2001. In 2008, she received the  Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s highest accolade, the Life Achievement Award, at the Arts Development Awards.