A Little More Soul, A Little More Heart
Tatler Malaysia|August 2020
Behind every film is a story with purpose and personality. And for Quek Shio Chuan’s highly acclaimed works, both are aplenty
Chin Koyyi

Wen Guang—the protagonist of Quek’s debut short film Guang in 2011—is shown sitting on a bus on his way to an upcoming job interview, scratching at the label on the inside of his collar as he recites under his breath a script his younger brother bade him to remember for the interview itself, which was written on the center of his palm. The beginnings of Wacko’s Waltz begin to play in the background—a musical piece that the director’s sister, Quek Shio Yee, had composed for the film.

“Hello, my name is Wen Guang,” he carefully reads in Mandarin. “I’m 27 years old. I’m from Mantin, I have two years of working experience in a pub. I’m very friendly, approachable, cooperative.” The scene changes, and he’s seen walking in the middle of a bustling marketplace still muttering the words under his breath, eyes never once straying from his upturned palm. “Sometimes I may seem a little weird to you. But I really hope you can understand,” he continues.

“I have autism.”

INVESTED IN EMOTION

Stories of heart and home almost always strike a resonant chord within us, especially when they depict instances where we can’t help but empathize with the characters. Whether it’s the underdog that everybody roots for, the villain with a tragic backstory or the hero that constantly gets the short end of the stick in life—the key as to why we get emotionally invested in their stories is because we find them relatable. And for Quek’s works, be it commercial or otherwise, this all-too-human aspect is apparent and is what makes them so compelling.

Before its feature film adaptation in 2018, Guang (which translates to ‘light’ in Mandarin) was already an award-winning short film with international acclaim; not only had it won the grand prize in the 2011 BMW Shorties, it had also earned itself a place in film festivals such as the 6th Alto Vicentino in Italy and the 7th Leiden International Short Film Experience in the Netherlands. Described to be a story of two brothers, Guang centres itself around the varying perspectives of autism; its main character, Wen Guang, the older of the two siblings, has ASD (Autism spectrum disorder)—thus giving us an insider’s look as to what he sees and experiences as a person on the spectrum.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TATLER MALAYSIAView All

Show Time

Nearly two decades in the making, the M+ museum in Hong Kong has ambitions to be the leading cultural institution in Asia—and one of the best in the world. This month, it finally opens to the public

10 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Still Burning Bright

Cantopop diva Anita Mui left the world at the pinnacle of her career. Eighteen years later, her producer friend Bill Kong and model Louise Wong revive her story and realise her unfulfilled wish of making a film

5 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Get Ready for Ramsay

Chef Gordon Ramsay tells us about his new Malaysian restaurant and reveals what local delicacy still scares him

3 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Le Scandale

While the rest of the world shut down, many members of Paris’s fashion elite refused to let the pandemic get in the way of a good time

7 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

More Than Shiraz

Australia may not be the first place you think of when it comes to cabernet sauvignon, but to ignore its offerings is to miss out

7 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Suiting up for the Eternals

Ma Dong-seok, South Korea’s Jack of all trades, talks firsts and more

4 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Stronger Together

Power couple Scha Alyahya and Awal Ashaari seem to have it all—a loving marriage, beautiful family, thriving careers and an exciting business. Throughout it all, they keep their feet firmly on the ground while keeping their eye on the prize

10 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

The Great Indoors

Jonas Wood has shot to global fame by bringing still-life painting into the 21st century. His latest exhibition opens in Hong Kong this month

8 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

New Hit Wonders

Ever wanted to venture off the beaten path? Malaysia is blessed with so much natural beauty. Here are hidden gems worth discovering if you know where to look

4 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021

Two Become One

Three romantic couples on their journey through love, life and marriage

7 mins read
Tatler Malaysia
November 2021
RELATED STORIES

Too Big. May Still Fail

As developer Evergrande faces a debt crunch, China tries to depend less on real estate

10 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 27, 2021

HOW BRUCE LEE CONQUERED THE RAT

According to Chinese astrology, 2020 was the Year of the Rat — which kind of explains the bad luck we all had! Turns out rats are not compatible with and can be countered by goats.

6 mins read
Black Belt
February/March 2020

Guangzhou Has Transformed Into A 21st Century Gateway

The Pearl River’s storied trading hub has transformed itself into a world class 21st century gateway

7 mins read
Business Traveler
July-August 2017

Guangzhou's Glory Days

A stroll through ancient Cantons old quarters reveals a rich cultural diversity and distinctive architectural heritage.

8 mins read
Business Traveler
October 2015

ComfortDelGro expands into construction logistics venture in China

Taxi operator ComfortDelGro yesterday said it has entered into a joint venture (JV) to start a transportation business delivering concrete in China.

1 min read
The Straits Times
November 30, 2021

HK working on quarantine-free travel with Guangdong

City aims to give go-ahead to 1,000 residents a day from Dec, with eye on global travel in second quarter of 2022

3 mins read
The Straits Times
November 10, 2021

Could greater climate awareness in China drive Beijing to do more?

News analysis

2 mins read
The Straits Times
November 10, 2021

हर हफ्ते दो करोड़ 'अच्छे मच्छर' पैदा करती है चीन की फैक्ट्री

मच्छरों की वजह से ना जाने कितनी ही जानलेवा बीमारियो दुनियाभर में हर साल होती हैं और इससे करोड़ों लोगों की जान जाती है। चीन ने मच्छरों को खत्म करने के लिए एक नायाब काम किया है।

1 min read
Hari Bhoomi
September 17, 2021

Virus Worries Dampen Sentiments

Copper and gold took the brunt of the downward movement in the commodity markets

2 mins read
Dalal Street Investment Journal
August 16, 2021

WELL SPRING

The Cantonese will eat anything that flies, moves or swims — especially executive chinese chef Albert Au’s new menu at Jiang-Nan Chun.

2 mins read
MEN 'S FOLIO Singapore
May 2021