Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taiwan-based Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語) performed part of a song banned in China at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit this week and said her freedom as an artist was more important than having access to China’s market.
Chen performed part of the song “Fragile” (玻璃心), which poked fun at nationalistic Chinese netizens, on a small platform in a space outside the venue’s main auditorium at the end of the summit’s first day on Thursday.
She also performed a new English song “Who Says” for the first time, a tune Chen said is meant to encourage people who feel suppressed.
“I really hope people who feel suppressed and shut down are able to know that in the free world, we’re constantly fighting for them and fighting for their rights,” Chen said.
“Fragile,” released on the internet last year by Chen and Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志), is a Mandarin ballad that offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink,” a disparaging term used to describe patriotic keyboard warriors from China.
To date, the song has received over 51 million views on YouTube and has helped Chen, who moved from Melbourne to Taipei in 2009 to pursue a career in music, to become well-known across the global Mandarin music sector.
“I really hope that my music is able to encourage and inspire people to be themselves and not to be afraid of expression,” Chen said after performing the ballad outside the summit’s main auditorium.
Within just days of the song’s release last year, Chen’s profile on China’s social media platforms was suspended and her back catalogue was wiped from China’s internet.
Many people warned her of the large financial hit she would take by being banned and censored in China, but she felt she has gained more, she said.
“I actually feel like I’ve gained so much. Not only am I able to stand up for what I believe in, I’m also able to do what I believe is right, and I feel like as a singer and as a song-writer, freedom and songwriting is so important for an artist,” Chen said.
The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2022, held June 9-10, was aimed at uniting democratic forces to push back against an authoritarian tide, according to its website.
The Copenhagen Democracy Summit series was inaugurated five years ago with Joe Biden as its inaugural keynote speaker, the website said.
(By Wang Hsin-yu and William yen)
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