Album Release
A Pure Person
Angela Lin in Conversation with Lim Giong
Translation by Dier Zhang
Photography by Acudus Aranyian
A Pure Person available now at

In the year 2000, Taiwanese musician Lim Giong composed the music for Hsiao Hsien Hou’s now cult-classic film, Millennium Mambo. His song, A Pure Person has gained a cult following of its own, played by thousands across the globe and enciting a sense of nostalgia for a place not every person listening has been.

20 years later, album producer and A&R Angela Lin collaborated with Lim Giong to enlist five artists (Alex Zhang Hungtai, Jieh, Point, Yuying Hsu, Non-Confined Space) to reinterpret what it means today with a new album collaboration, alongside a release of a new song by Giong himself, named “Recite.”

Here, Angela Lin interviews Giong for FAR–NEAR about what it means to be a pure person in an increasingly polarized world.

In 2020, what does ordinary, peace, pure person mean to you?
在 2020,你對 ”善良, 平凡, 快樂/單純的人” 有什麼認知?

Fulfill your duties as much as possible without overdoing it, reduce your ego, don’t be too greedy and do good deeds.

Why did you agree to do this project? How does it feel to have other artists re-interpreting the track?

It happened naturally, just like how the album, "A Pure Person," was produced. It wasn’t planned. In recent years, making a music album or compilation wasn’t on my mind. It was only on August 1, 2017, when I received an email from California sent by Angela Lin, that the album began... Angela, my work partner, found musicians to reinterpret the song and I chose the pieces I liked. Apart from Point, I didn't know and haven’t met any of the artists.
它是自然發生的,就像是這張《單純的人》專輯可以製作出來,我一直都是被動的,近年我沒有企圖心跟時間做一張音樂專輯或合輯,只是2017年8月1日在Gmail電郵上接到一封來自美國加州的英文信,署名是:Angela Lin,然後一切都從這裡開始....,工作夥伴找了一些音樂家,我選擇的都是自己喜歡的音樂,除了Point,其他人我不認識也沒見過面。

How does this new song “Recite” connect to the original “A pure person” track? 請問這首“Recite”和您的原作"單純人"之間有什麼承傳?

The song "A Pure Person" was about my emotional mindset at the time it was composed. Similarly, "Recite" also reflects my current self. Since the theme of the album relates to what I created 20 years ago, the songs start off as a continuation of where I was 20 years ago. It gradually develops and the chants of "Heart Sutra" at the end reflect my current state of mind.

What were your different states of mind or different processes when writing “A Pure Person” vs “Recite”?

"A Pure Person" was written in 2000, when I had just established my studio in Taipei. Three people were involved with the composition, and the mixdown was completed by another mixer. At that time, I was still mentally exploring the process. "Recite" was recorded in my studio in Taichung and I created it alone, from beginning to end. Originally a friend was helping with the mix, but in the end I chose to go with my own version. I had a relatively clear state of mind when I wrote this song.

How have you changed as an artist between this release of “A Pure Person” and “Recite” ? 作為一個作曲家當您release念和單純的人的時候有什麼改變嗎?

"A Pure Person" is more purposeful, while "Recite" is more casual.

Why did you choose to sing in traditional Taiwanese opera style for the song?

I am always thinking about where I come from, where I will go in the future, the significance of my cultural heritage and environmental factors and how I can communicate with others while maintaining my independence in this globalized world.

What mood or philosophy did you want to express with the original “A Pure Person” ?

No matter how complicated the world is, how heavy the heart is, how tempted by fame and fortune you are, and even if you feel as though you’ve been defiled and corrupted, remind yourself to be a pure person and improve your spirituality and conscience.

What do you think about spreading Taiwanese culture or music to the rest of the world?

I don't have such ambitions. Musical works have their own vitality and that is mostly beyond my control. Each piece has its own fate. All I can do is try my best and go with the flow.