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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

Tears, laughter as beloved writer passes away aged 87

Tears, laughter as beloved writer passes away aged 87

Renowned author and screenwriter Ni Kuang passed away at the age of 87 yesterday.
Dubbed one of the four best writers in Hong Kong - together with late songwriter James Wong Jum-sum, late novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung and food critic Chua Lam - Ni has a number of pen names and was most well-known for his popular science fiction series Wisely.

News of Ni's passing was revealed by author Sun Sai-ching on Facebook last night.

In 2019, Ni told reporters that he had suffered from skin problems for years - including skin cancer - which led to him losing his sense of taste.

He added at the time that he had given up on medical treatment.

Writer and radio host Chip Tsao, commonly known by his pen name To Kit, posted a photo of himself and Ni on Facebook, saying: "The most clearheaded Chinese man the world has seen for the last 70 years."

Feng shui master Alion Yeo Tin-ming also uploaded a photo of himself and Ni on Facebook, captioning it: "Thank you for your wisdom, Mr Ni Kuang. I will always remember your laugh. Hahahaha I am missing you already."

Born in 1935 as the fourth of seven children in an impoverished family in Shanghai, Ni moved to Hong Kong four years later and took on a job as a factory worker while studying at an evening school.

He had always enjoyed writing during his free time and after submitting several pieces to now-defunct newspaper Chun Po, he was hired by the publication to serve as reporter, editor and columnist.

In 1963, he started his sci-fi series Wisely, publishing it in a Ming Pao column. Eventually, more than 140 novels would be published as part of the Wisely series. Ni later turned to screenwriting during the heyday of martial arts films in the late 1960s. A decade later, he had written more than 400 scripts, with 300 of them having been produced into films.

In 2005, Ni retired at the age of 70, saying he had passed his "writing peak" and had "used up all his quota."

Ni later won the Lifetime Achievement award at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012. Several years later, he also received an award from the Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild.

Despite his accolades, Ni described himself in 2019 as a person who is "easily satisfied and has no ambition." He added: "That's why people always see me laughing and happy. I don't think there's anything to feel sad about."

Ni is the older brother of popular Hong Kong writer Isabel Nee Yeh-su, better known as Yi Shu.
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