It is a rather interesting cover which I discovered in Mainland auction site: the premiere issue of South China Magazine, featuring the regally glamorous Lee Yi-Nin as cover girl, and the what surprise me the most is the five pointed stars on her fabulous Cheongsam, which I can't help associating it with the five pointed stars of the US flag, moreover the tiara-like accessories somehow reminds me of the Statue of Liberty.
Just a wild speculation, the entire styling appears to me like a portrayal of the Chinese American spirit (majority are from South China), and Movie Queen Lee Yi Nin representing the South China Homeland soul (comprises of the Cantonese speaking region, which comprises of Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, and part of Guang Xi Province) , channelling the national symbol of United States of America, by embedding it to the cheongsam and styling.
Speaking about South China Movie Queen, people fondly remember Pak Yin (白燕), the evergreen Cantonese movie queen that ruled from mid 1940s till mid 1960s, but seldom recalled that Lee Yi-Nin was in fact the very first Queen of Cantonese Cinema, which ruled from 1935 to early 1940.
Lee Yi-Nin's career and life is a rather a dream like short journey that filled with dramatic surprise, all begins with her fanaticism towards her ultimate idol: Ruan Lingyu.
Lee Yi-Nin was born Lee Chor Heng (李楚卿) in1912. In early 1930, Lee Yi-Nin left Hong Kong to Shanghai with her friends without informing her parent in prior, in order to obtain the authentic autographed photos of Ruan Lingyu. Her fanatical idolization has upset her father so much until her father destroyed her entire life worhty Ruan Lingyu collections, and Lee ran away from home. It was not until years later that the parent rediscovered the rebellious daughter appeared in a movie poster of Hong Kong cinema, and has become an actress then.
In the missing year Lee drifted to Macau and resided there for quite awhile, and when Ruan Lingyu suicide in Shanghai, her sorrow was so intense until she chose to follow her idol's fate by attempting suicide, only was saved by a fisherman, who was a gambler. After a series of expolitation by the gambler and another rich man whom gambler lost her to, she ran away and come across the audition advertisement of Grandview Studiom and decided to give a try. Her resemblance to Ruan Lingyu surprised the directors 关文清 and 赵树桑, and immediately she was offered a contract and was given a title role in the film whom her parent rediscover the daughter in hong Kong cinema: The Song of Yesterday (昨日之歌), which was an instance success.
Still of 人言可畏, 1936 (source: douban)
Lee Yi-Nin, The Young Companion cover Girl (source: douban)
Lee Yi Nin made her final tribute and homage to Ruan Lingyu by suicide, and ended her sad ironic dramatic Idol-imitating life through a form of eternity....and the most regretted thing is, none of her films survived....
P/s: A rare alluring photo of Lee Yi-Nin at Dave's Soft toufu, click here.
Paul Fanoroff: Silver Light: A Pictorial History of Hong Kong Cinema, 1920-1970
The No 2 Ruan Lingyu: Lee Yi Nin
Lee Yi-Nin, Wikipedia Chinese