China Loves to Keep it Fake

August 12th, 2008 at 12:00 am

As they expected, all eyes are on China during these Olympics.

Two other fails have been disclosed about the fabulous Olympics Opening Ceremonies which happened last Friday at China’s Birds’ Nest National Stadium.

AS we all know, China is notorious for faking everything from bags, clothes, shoes, TV sets, Audio components, iPods, phones, and actually come to think of it, everything.  Yes, the Chinese love to fake up other stuff and make it their own.  And more recently, they’ve faked their own too.  The grand opening ceremony last Friday was not all real.  If you were watching on TV, those fireworks foot prints were in fact CGI, and that cute little girl singing as the Chinese flag entered the stadium, well she wasn’t singing at all.

Both counterfeits were sanctioned by the Chinese organizers.  For the fireworks, they said that it was impossible to capture the lights (fireworks) on film  so they superimposed some computer graphics.  But you got to hand it to them, that CGI was happening live and in real time broadcast simultaneously with the actual fireworks for the people in the stadium.

However, not all their faking efforts are commendable.  Lin Miaoke, the little girl in the red dress singing the "Paean to the Motherland" as the Chinese Flag entered the stadium was not the voice heard all over the world.  She was merely a face the Chinese chose to represent their children.  The voice everyone heard was Yang Peiyi’s.  Her (Yang) voice was chosen just as Lin’s looks were.

In an interview with Chen Qigang, the General Music Designer of the Opening Ceremony, he admits this fact.  

Chen Qigang: The first condition was that the director wants the image to be very cute. We selected about ten children… Then we had to choose one from those who had a good image who can sing well…

We chose one ten-year-old child, whose voice was really good. All the rehearsals were using her singing… In the end the director thought her image was not the most appropriate, she was a little too old… so regrettably, we had to let her go.

Then, as we chose another singer, the standard was that she needs to be seven years old. Lin Miaoke (林妙可) was one of them, another was Yang Peiyi (杨沛宜), and there were others.

Then we went to the Central People’s Radio Station to do the recording…

Finally we made the decision that the voice we would use was Yang Peiyi’s.

TV Host: Yang Peiyi?

Chen Qigang: Yes.

…The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression.

Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects. But in the aspect of voice, Yang Peiyi (杨沛宜) is flawless, in each member of our team’s view.

TV Hostess: … So the one in front of camera is Lin Miaoke, but the voice [we heard] is from Yang Peiyi?

Chen Qigang: Yes. This was a last minute decision, we had to do it. We had been through several inspections,they were all very strict. When we rehearsed at the spot, there were spectators from various divisions, especially leader(s) from the the Politburo, who gave the opinion: It must change. This is to say, we had no choice.

… We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, to give this explanation. Everyone should understand this in this way: this is in the national interest. It is the image of our national music, national culture. Especially the entrance of our national flag, this is an extremely important, extremely serious matter. Then we made such a choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi.

That is to say, we have a perfect voice (in our team’s view), and a perfect image and representation, two combined together.

…But as far as Lin Miaoke is concerned, since we have two recordings – one from Lin Miaoke, another from Yang Peiyi – and their voices are not too different, so when Lin Miaoke was singing, she may not have realized that was not her own voice. 

See more at the Chinese Digital Times