“Xiang1 feng4 shi4 you3 yuan2”
Meeting is destiny…
Windy Feng Rong WANG
Windy was born in OuHai, one of the three urban districts of Wenzhou City, a special economic zone of China.
Her father was a doctor in general and Chinese medicine and still runs a clinic in OuHai. Her mother was a People’s Representative of Ouhai, Wenzhou City, a former Commissioner and Head of the Ouhai Family Planning Office, and is currently a Chinese martial arts WuShu Champion, winning titles in her class at the provincial, national, and international levels.
Windy studied German and International Trade at the prestigious Shanghai Foreign Studies University. She is currently the Director of International Sales for Wenzhou Protec, the largest specialty metallizing paper company in China.
As a young girl, Windy was a tomboy, loved literature, adventure, and sports, and was daringly independent (she still is!). As a child she would carefully save her breakfast money, and her ferry fares to buy books. She also used to help her dad select and prepare medicinal herbs and was trained by him in Chinese medicine. She can still identify and knows the uses of dozens of medicinal varieties. In the early 90s, less than two decades after the cultural revolution, she was one of a very few girls from her town that went to college, studying German and international trade at the prestigious Shanghai Foreign Studies University.
Currently, she is the Director of International Sales for Wenzhou Protec, the largest specialty and metallized paper company in China. She has been traveling extensively throughout Asia, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and is next up to visit Brazil. She still loves reading as much as she did when she was young, devouring shelves of books in weeks. She is also technically literate, and carries her small laptop with her everywhere for work and to be connected to her friends and family.
Windy has a younger brother who is a doctor and currently works in insurance, and a sister, who studied law, and works in the Justice Department of the Wenzhou City government.
Paul Wei Hung KAN
Paul was born in Manhattan at New York Presbyterian Hospital, on the upper east side.
His father’s family is from Shanghai, where he hears there is still a village of the Kan people outside the city. His father’s maternal grandfather was the Ambassador to Germany, and his father was a Harvard graduate, delegate to the United Nations, and the Chief of Staff and Personal Representative of Li Tsung-jen (the last President of the ROC before the Communists won over the Mainland), meeting personally with President Truman and Dean Acheson on China’s behalf before the Communist Party won over the Mainland in 1950. Paul’s father was born in Guangzhou, grew up in Kunming, Guilin, and Hong Kong, graduated from MIT, and was a mechanical engineer, who used to design nuclear, hydroelectric, and co-generation power plants.
Paul’s mother’s family is from Hoiping, in Guangdong Province. Their family came to the United States as merchants, and settled in San Francisco, still occupying the prominent pink colored building on Stockton Street in the heart of Chinatown. Paul’s maternal grandmother was a hostess on the transcontinental Pullman trains, until she met her husband who was a merchant, a member of the Hip Sing Association, and who ran a sundries and china store on the first floor of their Tong's headquarters on Pell Street, above a mahjong parlor, where his mom would often sit on the stairs above to watch the television. Paul’s mother was born and raised in Chinatown, later graduated from Cornell, and was a head nurse at New York Presbyterian.
Paul has two older sisters and a younger brother. His oldest sister graduated from Harvard, and is currently the Director of Ready to Wear for Celine in Paris. His second sister graduated from Princeton, and was an architect with Swanke Hayden Connell. His younger brother graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, recently returned from Afghanistan, and is currently a Major and JAG officer.
As a young boy growing up, Paul wanted to be a military fighter pilot. Besides studying violin and piano for over a decade, his whole youthful existence was defined by a decision in third grade to go to the United States Air Force Academy. Paul also had a special love for reading, poetry, classical music, learning, and the outdoors, as an Eagle scout and senior patrol leader for his local Boy Scout Troop. In the end, despite being admitted to the USAFA, he ended up joining AFROTC at MIT to study Math, Political Science, and brain sciences, working in neuroanatomy labs at MIT and Harvard over four years in school. After stints in both bond trading and investment banking, over ten years at CSFB & DLJ, he took three years off to pursue his love of photography, but fell in love with Asia instead.
Currently, he is a bond trader with Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong, and travels almost as much as Windy does. He still loves reading, but has traded books for his “fast food reading” of film and cinema. He just wishes he had more time to work on his photography and creative projects.
Meeting Is Destiny
“xiang1 feng4 shi4 you3 yuan2” -- Meeting is destiny…
Paul and Windy met while travelling independantly in Yangshuo, just south of Guilin in Guangxi Province. She was supposed to have left the day before. And he was supposed to have left the next day. But a confluence of events caused them to meet over a day, and go rock climbing among the karst peaks with a group of Beijing young people whom they both had met.
Although only spending a day together among other people as their itineraries crossed, they kept up a rapid correspondence through email and IM, and over the next few years traveled together through China, Southeast Aisa, a dozen countries in Europe, the United States, Hawaii, and Mexico, until Paul decided to move to Asia to be together in Hong Kong where they keep a residence, and where he now works as a mortgage bond trader for Lehman Brothers.
On December 26, 2005, the bride and groom were caught in the Asian Tsunami at Khao Lak, Thailand, and were the only people they know who escaped alive from their resort. Almost drowning in their bungalow as the waves hit and the water pushed them to the concrete ceiling, they made a harrowing escape, and spent a month in a hospital in Bangkok from their injuries.
Returning to Hong Kong, he later proposed to her on the Star Ferry with a little blue box in white ribbon. She accepted in stunned silence and tears.
A U L
P H O T O G R A P H Y
all images © 1995-2006 Paul W.H. Kan
Hong Kong, SAR
People's Republic of China