S.H.E’s Hebe is here but… Fans are thinking of SELINA
By Tan Kee Yun
October 31, 2010
GO, GO Selina! The Chinese words of encouragement were big, bold and welcoming.
One would have thought, looking at the sea of posters and portable light boards held by frenetic fans at Changi Airport, that Selina Jen from Taiwanese pop gal group S.H.E had swung into town.
But as these young people cheered, their 29-year-old idol was, in fact, bedridden and going through – what’s likely to be – a long process of recuperation at Taipei’s Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital.
It was her fellow S.H.E member Hebe Tien, 27, one of several guest artistes at last night’s music event Singapore Hit Awards, who came through the arrival gates at noon.
Decked out in shades and a black jacket, the pixie-faced Tien looked glum and sullen.
Who could blame her?
TNP PICTURES: KUA CHEE SIONG
Last Saturday, Jen suffered serious burns after a series of planned explosions went horribly wrong on the set of I Have A Date With Spring, a musical drama she was filming in Shanghai.
According to her record label H.I.M International Music, 50 per cent of her body – mostly her back, limbs and waist – was affected. Her face, while not burnt, was slightly scorched.
Her male co-star, China actor-singer Yu Haoming, was badly injured too. (See other report.)
Little wonder that the mood within the S.H.E camp at Changi Airport wasn’t exactly upbeat.
Some of those present were members of the local fanclub S.H.E Ambience.
‘When the news of Selina’s accident broke, we were totally shocked,’ said a sombre Miss Cai Jiaxin, 23, who recently graduated from a private university.
‘It was hard to believe that something so awful had happened…we were so worried we started following the news closely, paying attention to every single update on her (Jen’s) condition.’
Fans were also angry and perplexed that such an accident could have happened on a film set.
Miss Sim Yiwen, 21, who works in logistics, said she had read in a Taiwanese news report that old and faulty equipment had been used to shoot the explosion scene.
‘Also, the actors weren’t provided with any protective gear to cover their bodies. That scene dealt with fire, it’s very dangerous and more precautionary measures should have been taken,’ she said.
Putting their anger aside, the fans decided to pour their hearts into making gifts for Jen.
At a press conference yesterday evening, representatives from S.H.E Ambience handed more than 5,000 colourful paper cranes to Tien.
‘We set out to fold 1,000 cranes, as there is a Japanese traditional belief that 1,000 cranes will bring patients speedy recovery, good health and a long life,’ said polytechnic student Serene Law, 19.
‘She’s in pain but still strong’
But they were overwhelmed with response from the public after posting their project details on their website.
‘So many people voluntarily joined us in our crane-folding session on Thursday night…we made 5,236 cranes in all,’ she said.
In an interview with local media, Tien acknowledged the seriousness of Jen’s injuries candidly.
‘Her condition is definitely not good,’ she said.
‘I visited her on Thursday before I set off for Singapore and I could see that she was in pain, even with the morphine injected.
‘Though she might be physically weak now, her mental state is extremely strong. She is still optimistic about life and, at times, it seems like she is comforting me instead of me comforting her.’
With an emphatic pause, Tien added that Selina has described the pain as ‘the worst she has ever experienced’.
‘As she suffered third-degree burns, it’s likely that there will be (scars).
‘But I don’t think she is even thinking about whether there will be scars on her body in the future. She just wants to get well soon.’
Fans also passed Tien a scrapbook of wishes they had penned for Jen, as well as a get-well video clip they had filmed and edited themselves.
‘It’s so sad that tomorrow is her birthday and she has to spend it in the hospital,’ Miss Cai said with a sigh.
Fans can take comfort in the steely determination the other two members of S.H.E – Tien and Ella Chen, 29 – have shown following Jen’s mishap.
‘The girls were slated to perform together as a trio in Jiangsu province on the day of the accident,’ said Mr Darren Ang, 24, a web designer.
‘After Selina’s accident, Ella and Hebe were extremely professional, they controlled their emotions and went on with the show.
‘But from the online clip of that particular performance, it was evident that they were saddened by their friend’s injuries.’
Miss Law agreed, adding that Tien and Chen’s professionalism have made her admire S.H.E even more.
A few days earlier, Tien confirmed on her Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) account that her mother intended to do her part in Jen’s upcoming skin graft operation, by becoming a skin donor.
‘I was very touched when I read that,’ said Miss Law.
‘She (Tien’s mum) is so willing to help, even though Selina is not her flesh and blood.’
Tien clarified during her press conference that her mum was ‘expressing her feelings’ as a concerned, worried guardian of Jen.
‘My mum treats Selina like her own kid. These few days, whenever the topic of Selina is brought up, she breaks down and cries,’ said Tien.
‘But the truth is, my mum is not medically trained and as much as she wants to donate the skin, I don’t think it’s possible. You’d need to use your own skin for the (skin graft) operation, so that the cells would be able to match.’
The New Paper understands from doctors that besides the procedure of taking one’s own skin for grafting, a transplant using sking from a donor is ‘possible’, but ‘tests have to be conducted beforehand to make sure the cells match perfectly’.
Immediate family members will have a higher chance of a match.
Fans also rubbished the speculation in some Chinese media that Jen’s tragedy could spell the end of her career.
News portal Sina.com said that Jen is likely to be out of showbiz action for at least a couple of years.
‘We will continue to support S.H.E even if Selina cannot be part of the group for now,’ said Miss Sim. ‘Selina will definitely not be forgotten.’
WHO is Yu Haoming?
Over the past week, that has been the question on folks’ minds, with the constant updates on Selina Jen’s condition.
The Guangzhou native, Jen’s co-star in the musical drama I Have A Date With Spring, had third-degree burns on his body, mostly on his limbs and back.
He reportedly shielded Jen by hugging her tightly when the explosions occurred.
Fans of S.H.E have lauded his heroic effort, which saved their idol from facial injuries.
Yu, 22, little known to audiences in Taiwan and Singapore, has become a household name in mainland China since he took part in the all-male singing competition Superboy in 2007.
The show, held by Hunan Television, was Yu’s big break.
He came in sixth, wowing the crowd with his boyish charm.
In the same year, he signed a contract with Chinese record label Doremi Media and released his debut EP, If I Can Love You. His first full-length album, Hug, was released at the end of last year.
He has branched out into acting and hosting.
He starred in Let’s Watch The Meteor Shower Together, China’s remake of classic Taiwanese idol drama Meteor Garden and hosted the Hunan Television talkshow Improving Everyday.
Idol saviour popular in China