Xiao Li Yuan (Singapore Child Actor)

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Xiao Li Yuan. Photo from Instagram.

Xiao Li Yuan was a child actor who was best known for his roles in Homerun (2003) and Let It Shine (2007). Currently, he is no longer active in the entertainment industry and is working in a corporate setting.[1] In June 2022, Li Yuan had sparked local interest after actress Chantelle Ng started an online search via Instagram, seeking to reunite with her childhood friend.[2]

Background

Personal life

Xiao Li Yuan currently works in the corporate sector and according to actress Chantelle Ng, “has decided to keep a low profile”.[3]

Career

Representative Works

Year Movie/Show Character Role Refs.
2007 萤火虫的梦/Let It Shine Situ Bi Supporting [2][4]
2005 4:30 Zhang Xiao Wu Main [5]
2004 见鬼/The Eye 2 School Boy Supporting [6]
2003 跑把孩子/Homerun Ah Guang Supporting [7]

Homerun (2003)

Xiao Li Yuan kickstarted his early career as a child actor in the movie Homerun, a Jack Neo-directed film.[7] The film was adapted from the 1997 Iranian family drama, Children of Heaven and follows a young pair of impoverished siblings who share a pair of shoes between themselves.

Li Yuan plays Ah Guang, a minor role and one of the main character, Chew Kiat Kun’s (played by Shawn Lee) friends.[7]  

The Eye 2 (2004)

In this sequel to Hong Kong supernatural horror film, The Eye (2002), Xiao Li Yuan plays a minor role of a school boy.[6]

Xiao Li Yuan as Zhang Xiao Wu in 4:30. Photo from AlloCiné.

4:30 (2005)

Xiao Li Yuan received his first leading role in 2005, for the film 4:30. It follows the story of an 11-year-old boy, Zhang Xiao Wu (Xiao Li Yuan) and the relationship he shares with his Korean tenant, Jung.[8] Told entirely from the perspective of Xiao Wu, 4:30 draws an introspective parallel with modern loneliness, overcast by a tinge of humour.[9]

The film’s international rights have since been acquired by Celluloid Dreams (excluding that of Japan and Singapore), French film production and distribution company.[8] Directed by Singaporean writer and director Royston Tan, the film has gone on to clinch the following awards[8]:

  • Grand Prize - Best Film, Bratislava International Film Festival,
  • Netpac Award, Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Geber Award, Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival

Let It Shine (2007)

In the Mediacorp and Channel 8 drama, Let It Shine, Xiao Li Yuan was cast as a stoic school boy by the name of Situ Bi.[2] He made an appearance in several episodes where he worked closely with fellow actress, Felicia Chin who played aspiring star and relief teacher, Guo Yao Yao.[4]

Chantelle Ng’s appeal on her Instagram story. Photo from Instagram.

Media coverage

Making headlines on local media outlets

On June 13, 2022, Mediacorp actress Chantelle Ng reached out to her followers via a series of Instagram stories in an effort to reunite with a long-lost childhood friend and former child actor, Xiao Li Yuan.[1] She also shared that she had tried “asking around” over the years but had not been successful in doing so. She also revealed that she “recently felt a strong push” to renew her efforts once more.[3]

With the actress’ appeals, Li Yuan soon drew the attention of several local publications, including CNA, The Straits Times, 8 DAYS, and Mothership.[10][11][2][1] In the following days, he would go on to make headlines on these sites, which largely covered his past career as a child actor and his successful reunification with Chantelle Ng.

Xiao Li Yuan as rebellious student Situ Bi in Let It Shine. Photo from meWATCH.

The actress had first met Li Yuan on the set of the Mediacorp drama, Let It Shine. Her mother, veteran actress Lin Meijiao had been a part of the cast, which led to her visiting the set often. It was there that she had gotten to meet young Li Yuan and form a close bond with him.[2]

In an Instagram post that she later shared, Chantelle proclaimed that she had “pledged to find him” and that she would eventually “find [her] friend again”.[3]

Xiao Li Yuan (center) with Mediacorp artistes, Felicia Chin (left) and Chantelle Ng (right). Photo from Instagram.

Reuniting with Mediacorp artistes, Chantelle Ng and Felicia Chin (2022)

Soon after actress Chantelle Ng had appealed to her followers online, a friend of Li Yuan’s reached out to Chantelle and arranged a meetup between Li Yuan, Chantelle, and actress Felicia Chin.[3] Felicia Chin had previously worked together with Li Yuan on the Mediacorp drama, Let It Shine.[4]

From the Instagram posts that both actresses shared after this reunion, it would seem that they had managed to amicably catch up with Xiao Li Yuan, and reminisce about their shared experiences in the past.[3][12]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 How, Mandy. “Chantalle Ng reunites with childhood friend & 'Homerun' actor Xiao Li Yuan after social media appeal”. Mothership. June 15, 2022. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Toh, Ziyi. “Chantalle Ng Asking Netizens To Help Find Ex Child Actor Xiao Li Yuan With Whom She Played “Hide-And-Seek” On Set Of 2007 Mediacorp Drama Let It Shine”. 8 DAYS. June 14, 2022. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Chantalle Ng 黄暄婷. “chantelleng”. Instagram. June 15, 2022. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 meWATCH. “Let It Shine”. meWATCH. n.d. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  5. IMDb. “4:30 (2005) - Full Cast & Crew”. imdb.com. n.d. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 IMDb. “The Eye 2 (2004) - Full Cast & Crew”. imdb.com. n.d. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 IMDb. “Home Run (2003) - Full Cast & Crew”. imdb.com. n.d. Accessed 16 June 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Celluloid Dreams. “4:30”. Celluloid Dreams. n.d. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  9. IMDb. “4:30 (2005) - Plot Summary”. imdb.com. n.d. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  10. Kalaichalvan, Kishore. “Chantalle Ng reunites with former child actor friend after searching for him online”. CNA Lifestyle. June 16, 2022. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  11. Sng, Suzanne. “Chantalle Ng uses social media to track down childhood friend, Homerun actor Xiao Li Yuan”. The Straits Times. June 16, 2022. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  12. Felicia Chin 陈凤玲. “iamfeliciachin”. Instagram. June 15, 2022. Accessed 16 June 2022.