A Letter from Edward Lai Kuan-lin to Fans Reveals Shift to Behind-the-Scenes Work

A Letter from Edward Lai Kuan-lin to Fans Reveals Shift to Behind-the-Scenes Work
Photo: Lai Kuanlin Edward / Weibo

Following Edward Lai Kuan-lin’s shocking announcement about changing career paths, a letter reportedly written by him to his fans has been going around online. In the letter dated June 2024, the 22-year-old singer-actor who previously had his start in the K-pop group Wanna One before pursuing a solo career in China revealed his decision to step away from the limelight and transition to a behind-the-scenes role. He also mentioned discussing with his team the possibility of inviting fans to meet in Beijing, but revealed his studio’s funds are running low. Previously, Lai Kuanlin had already tried his hand at directing.

Lai Kuanlin begins his heartfelt letter by expressing the emotions he feels about this decision. He writes, “I have been imagining this day, both with anticipation and fear that the day won’t arrive.” The letter reveals that he would have already discussed and finalized the termination of his contract with his agency, signaling the official start of his new career path behind the scenes. This decision came as a surprise to his colleagues, who struggled to understand his motivations.

edward lai kuanlin tries directing
Photo: Lai Kuan Lin Studio / Weibo

“He Loves Freedom,” He Says

He acknowledges the encouragement he has received, with many believing that he could overcome challenges in showbiz as he had done before. However, Lai Kuanlin’s love for freedom makes it difficult for him to accept these reassurances. He feels a deep sense of helplessness and frustration, seeing it as unfair to his loyal fans, ‘Lvzhi 绿植 (which translates to “green plant” and stands for Lai Kuanlin’s fandom name).’

Kuanlin admits to feeling rebellious, which would draw criticism towards his fans. He said, “When I didn’t obey, it would result in ‘Lvzhi’ being targeted, when I changed my path, it seems ‘Lvzhi’ have no choice but to accept it.” Writing this letter was not easy, and he even considered organizing a fan meeting in Beijing. However, he explained in regret. “I even discussed with my staff the idea of inviting you all to Beijing for a face-to-face meeting, but I can’t make it happen. The studio has very little cash left.”

He apologizes for not giving his fans the opportunity to be ‘tough’. Despite the challenges, he assures them that he has never compromised his principles in private. In his words, he never “kneeled”, maintaining that his fans have always been his source of strength. Just like I said, “You have always been my backbone.”

Lai Kuanlin’s message emphasizes the importance of self-love. He shares his struggle with self-image, revealing, “I have woken up from countless nightmares, looked in the mirror, and did not love the person I saw.” He believes that only by moving behind the scenes can he truly appreciate his past experiences.

Looking forward, Kuanlin expresses his hope for a future where he can invite fans to celebrate his successes, perhaps in a cinema. Until then, he urges everyone to learn to love themselves, promising that he will always love his fans. “If one day I succeed, I will invite you to the cinema. Until then, let us return to being individuals. Let’s learn to love ourselves. I will always love you.”

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