Dancing queen Serena Liu Chen laid to rest

Serena Liu Chen with her daughter, Ni Ni.
Serena Liu Chen with her daughter, Ni Ni.PHOTO: SERENECHENLIU/ INSTAGRAM

TAIPEI • Taiwanese singer Shin Lung, the husband of late ballroom dancing queen Serena Liu Chen, was not present when her body was cremated yesterday morning .

Liu died at age 44 on March 22 following a drawn-out hospital stay, where she was awaiting a heart transplant after a heart valve replacement operation.

She leaves behind Shin, 48, and their four-year-old daughter, Ni Ni.

According to Taiwan's China Times, Liu was sent off by her younger brother Liu Heng, with their mother taking one last look at her before her casket was closed.

Shin, who has refused to use the word "cremate" and instead said she has "ascended to heaven and become an immortal", did not attend her funeral.

He has not spoken much to the media since Liu's death, although he was seen daily at her wake.

However, he told Apple Daily that according to Chinese tradition, husband and wife cannot send off each other, just as parents cannot send off their children.

But he felt sad that he could not accompany his beloved wife on her final journey.

Taiwanese television host Jacky Wu, who runs the artist management company that Shin belongs to, told the media that Liu's memorial, scheduled to be held on April 22, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Several Taiwanese celebrities attended the final day of Liu's wake on Sunday, including television host Chang Fei, actress Pauline Lan and comedian Ken Lin.

Liu catapulted to fame after she was invited to Chang's Variety Big Brother show to dance with Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau. Chang has worked with Liu and Shin several times on his variety show.

He told the media at the wake: "Liu's death was a loss for the Chinese arts community and her beautiful image will always remain in our hearts."

More than 1,000 fans have attended Liu's wake since it was opened to the public last Wednesday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2020, with the headline 'Dancing queen Serena Liu Chen laid to rest'. Print Edition | Subscribe