A memorial hall for their idol was opened in Beijing on Dec 10. The Beijing Teresa Teng Cultural Relic Museum on Qianmen Street features a collection of Teng's costumes, jewelry and furniture, grouped around eight themes.
Top: A visitor watches a portrait ofTeresa Teng at the Beijing Teresa Teng Cultural Relic Museum.Above: A pair of Teng's slingbacks are displayed on top of one of the luggagecases she bought in Hong Kong in 1969.[China Daily]
The walls of the museum are painted pink and purple, her favorite colors. Teng's old songs, such as Story of the Small Town and Sweetness, playing in the background, will take visitors back to the 1970s and 80s when Teng was queen of the Chinese pop music scene.
"All the items are from Taiwan and are being displayed in the mainland for the first time," says Teng Chang-an, the singer's older brother and curator of the museum.
He established the first museum dedicated to his sister in April, 2010, in Taiwan, 15 years after Teng's death.
One of the items on display is a brilliantly tailored white cheongsam, which Teng wore for her One Billion Applause concert at Taipei Gymnasium when she was 31.
While singing, she would take off her chiffon shawl to show off her charming figure.
Also on display are several other cheongsams she wore for The One and Only concert in Tokyo, Japan, in 1985.
"She had them customized in Hong Kong especially for the concert," Teng Chang-an says. "She told her Japanese audience every time she struck a pose on stage, 'I'm Teresa Teng from Taiwan, China'."
A room separated by transparent glass displays furniture and decorations from her guest room, dining room and bedroom.
One of these is a set of table and chairs she made for her mother, which has colorful hand paintings of magpies, peonies and bamboos.
On it sits a custom-made square-shaped plate meant for her mother's mahjong set.
A notebook on the tea table standing in the corner of the room was discovered by her family after she died.
One of the poems in it, written in 1992, was revised into the song Star Wish.
The young Teng loved to shop. In 1969, when the then 16-year-old went to Hong Kong for a charity event, she ordered 20 popular luggage cases of the same pattern but different sizes that fit one inside the other - like Russian Matryoshka dolls.
"Only a tenth of the contents of the Kaohsiung Teresa Teng Cultural Relic Museum in Taiwan are displayed in Beijing," Teng Chang-an says. "We welcome mainlanders to come to Taiwan to know more about Teresa."
***From China Daily
On a cozy, rainy night, Mu Lan, a die-hard fan of Taiwan pop diva Teresa Teng, is sitting alone in a mini-theater inside the Teresa Teng Cultural Relic Museum in Beijing. She cannot take her eyes off the music video that is playing and she sings along in a whisper in the tranquil darkness, slowly working herself into a melancholic state.
The day was May 8, 2011, the 16th anniversary of the death of Teresa Teng (1953-1995).
"Looking at her performance (in the video) and her belongings in this museum makes me feel that I am emotionally connected with her," Mu, 37 says. "In my heart, she is a master. Nobody can beat her."
Mu is just one of the many Teresa Teng fans who made the pilgrimage to the museum that day. Opened December 2010 at the Taiwan Impressions of Qianmen Street, the oldest commercial area in the capital city, the museum has been operating quietly. But on May 8, it witnessed probably the biggest crowd since its opening.
"There were up to 100 visitors. On ordinary days, the number is about 40-50," says Song Dandan, a staff working for the museum, the only one on the Chinese mainland.
This is exactly what Summer Teng, niece of Teresa Teng and curator of the museum, has been hoping for.
"The museum gives the feeling of family for Teresa Teng fans and anyone who wants to know more about Teresa," she says.
The relatively tiny museum of just 360 square meters was designed by a Taiwan film director. Its main exhibits of Teng memorabilia include costumes, jewelry and furniture.
Visitors are greeted by a giant portrait of a beaming Teresa Teng at the entrance.
It points the way down a corridor to a snow-white gown that Teng wore for her One Billion Applause concert at Taipei Gymnasium in 1984.
"We picked the dress because it signaled the first time when Teresa recognized she has a colossal following in the mainland," Summer Teng explains.
The museum exhibits are changed every three months, rotating with those on show at the Kaohsiung Teresa Teng Cultural Relic Museum in Taiwan, the curator says while pointing to a set of crystal necklace and bracelets. "These just came in."
Apart from browsing through the collection, the best way to remember the glory that is Teresa Teng is to sit quietly in the theater and relive her music and her concerts - just like Mu Lan did.