Looking For China Girl

By Eri Wilde

8 April 2001

China Girl 1983

Haven't you ever wondered who on earth was the girl that played the role of China Girl!?

Of course I was one of those who were interested in who she was, and searched for any valuable information from websites to websites! And here is the tip of the answers for you as far as I could know of.


Her name is
Geeling Ng, occasionally simply referred to as Geeling, and her profession is actress and model. Before starring as the China Girl for David Bowie's video, she played as Geeling, a young Chinese woman for the Australian film 'Barracuda' in 1981 (not 'The Lucifer Project' filmed in 1978, just in case). To my regret, there seems to be very few means to get an access to this film now.

I'm not sure if she had become the welcoming face for Phillips Light Box of Walkers Advertising Ltd: "Welcome to NZ" before or after her seeing David. But at least I know she had already become a national heroine for Kiwis by then.

I may not have to talk much about what the relationship between David and Geeling had been here. As the same Asian girl, I should say I am glad David liked her. But I also cannot help wondering if there could be any contacts between them now that David has a firmly established family, not like in 1983.

I couldn't help thinking of the potential mental connection between Geeling and Tina Turner when I knew both of had starred in this film, 'Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome'. She starred as a beautiful imperial guard for Aunty (Tina) in it. I think he must have been one of the finest films she has been a cast!

Anyway, she has performed various roles for different films since China Girl, too. In 1987, she starred in the film named 'Illustrious Energy', and she played the role of one of three Chinese miners head to New Zealand during the late 19th-century at the end of the island's gold rush in this drama. The trio is determined to find their wealth and eventually they do strike it rich. They believe their problems are finally over, but with their newfound riches come a whole new set of problems. To my regret, it seems to be hard to get this film now, too.

From 1987 she had showed up in the series called 'Gloss' for TVNZ with Simon James Prast. She was the core cast actress named Jasmine in this drama series. In 1992, she acted for the TV series 'Marlin Bay' in New Zealand.

Desperate Remedies 1993

Her self-identity as a Chinese woman has got more and more distinguished in her films. She starred as Su Lim for this outrageous and flamboyant film, 'Desperate Remedies'. One reviewer write: "Movie has migrane-inducingly bright colors, and outlandish costumes - such as a hoop-skirt with nothing under it. Gay sensibility throughout, in this somewhat peculiar, Victorianish setting."

The last appearance I could manage to capture the information of was TV broadcasting of 'Ethnic Cooking - III', when she cooked diverse ethnic cuisines in New Zealand (sounds yummy!) in May 1995.

I couldn't get any websites related to Geeling's appearances further than these by now. If you had any further information, please write to me to eriwilde@davidbowie.com.