Award-winning Taiwanese film director Chang Yi dies at 69

Chang Yi was in critical condition due to infections after a heart operation.
Chang Yi was in critical condition due to infections after a heart operation.PHOTO: LIULI GONGFANG/FACEBOOK

Taiwanese director Chang Yi, who was in Singapore last year for the Singapore Chinese Film Festival, died on Sunday (Nov 1) at the age of 69.

Liuli Gongfang, the glass studio devoted to artistic Chinese glassware founded in 1987 by Chang and his wife, actress Loretta Yang, 68, announced his passing on social media on Sunday. It said that Chang died peacefully on Sunday morning in the company of Yang, daughter Chang Yuan and other family members.

The Taiwanese media reported last Wednesday (Oct 28) that Chang Yi was in critical condition due to infections after a heart operation.

According to the media, he had undergone heart stent surgery in the past and had to go for frequent blood transfusions due to high white blood cell count.

Yang acknowledged Chang's condition last Thursday when Liuli Gongfang posted on Facebook a letter written by her, as she disclosed that Chang was unwell in the last two years and has been in out and of hospital since February this year.

She said that he has been suffering from several health issues such as those related to his immune system and kidneys.

Chang is famous for directing movies such as Jade Love (1984), based on the 1960 novella of the same name by writer Pai Hsien-yung, This Love Of Mine (1986) and Kuei-mei, A Woman (1985), with the latter winning four awards at the Golden Horse Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Chang.

Yang, who starred in the film, won Best Actress at the awards.

Chang is also one of four directors of the Taiwanese film In Our Time (1982). The other three directors are Edward Yang, Ko I-chen and Tao Te-chen.

Chang and Loretta Yang fell in love after collaborating on several movies. They left the movie industry after Chang's then wife, famous writer Hsiao Sa, wrote a letter in the newspaper in 1986 exposing their affair.