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PEOPLE

By Alexandra A. Seno


Hong Kong's King of Kowloon

A special edition of a Hong Kong magazine has named Tseng Tso-choi as one of the city's 10 "least influential" people. Who is he? Tseng calls himself the "King of Kowloon." The unemployed 78-year-old thinks he is the rightful heir to most local land. And for more than 40 years, he has shared his conviction with Hong Kong residents via his trademark black-paint scrawlings. His graffiti (known to include slogans personally insulting to Britain's queen) appear on walls, posts and electricity boxes all over town. Tseng's family disowned him because they think he is a public nuisance and mentally unbalanced. In the territory's creative world, though, the King's calligraphic style has inspired fashion designers, interior decorators and CD cover artists.

When Political Posturing Helps

Filipino television host Kris Aquino knows how to turn on the charm and make an impression. Interviewing Harrison Ford in Hawaii recently for her popular noontime program, Aquino, 27, used some of the 12 minutes she was allotted with the actor to pass on the personal greetings of her mother, former president Corazon Aquino. "She sends her regards to you but she isn't sure if you know her," a Manila entertainment editor quoted Kris as telling Ford. "Of course I know her," he said. "Please say Hi for me." The gesture flattered the Indiana Jones star, who presented the younger Aquino with a specially autographed movie poster. Back home, Mom also got a very little something: Kris gave her six tubes of designer lipstick as a present from the trip.

Mulan In A BIND

Brave and daring as Fa Mulan may be, she remains cornered in Beijing. Disney's first animated film based on Chinese folklore is still awaiting a go-ahead from authorities so Mulan can be released. "It's still being negotiated," said a Disney representative. Describing the situation as "complicated," the Xinhua News Agency sent out a statement saying: "The artistic taste and story line of a foreign movie, and the Chinese government's policies, are both elements affecting the decision-making process." Disney is believed to have displeased some powerbrokers in Beijing by releasing Kundun, a pro-Dalai Lama movie, last year. The Mandarin version of Mulan features the voices of singer CoCo Lee and Hong Kong action king Jackie Chan, among others. Will China ever see the cartoon? True to her spunky and enterprising character, Mulan has already found her way into some homes in the mainland. Her unwitting helpmates: illegal video-disk merchants, who have been doing brisk business in the film.


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