THE WORLD OF LILY YANG
When we think about the brothels in Melbourne many things probably come into our mind: Great places for sex without the hang-ups doubtless near the top of the list, along with living out the odd fantasy, among a host of others. And who can dispute how nice it feels revelling in the idea that the girl is one doing the seducing after, like me, trawling the bars, clubs and yes, even supermarkets for years with pick-up lines that sounded banal, even to my ears! The Melbourne brothels are like heaven on earth for us guys who lived through the pre-social media dating misery. Even in the current social-media dating app world with its nightmarish ability to transform a Victoria’s Secret model to a Roseanne-lookalike in the space of a taxi ride, the Melbourne brothels get my vote. Definitely.
All that aside, we never give a thought to the people who own and run these places. Most keep a low profile, I know, but why hasn’t there been a larger-than-life Madame of the old school since Madame Brussels strutted her stuff in Little Lon in the late 19th Century? This seems about to change with the emergence and rising profile of The Cherry Tree Garden and its wonderfully enigmatic own “Madame”, Lily Yang.
A new short movie to be released soon, directed by Tom Mackie, stars the beautiful Chinese actor Tiffany Shen as “Lily” and Ross Larkin as “The Artist” in a touching, forbidden love story. Set in the sensual, sexy underworld of Melbourne’s Chinatown it will surely raise Lily Yang and her exotic Cherry Tree Garden to cult status for short film-noire aficionados, as did the iconic feature film “World of Suzie Wong” for all us ancients around in the 1960’s, which starred Nancy Kwan and William Holden.
World Of Lily Yang, Book & Video Coming Soon…
Adding to the interest, Lily Yang is also in the final stages of publishing her own story in a book called: “If You’re Facing In The Right Direction, Just Keep Walking”.
You’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting a ‘tell-all’ book but I’m certain you’ll be enthralled in the page-turning journey of her enormously fascinating life. Her profession has always been one of total discretion, well, unless you happen to be Mata Hari, and it’s her promise to follow these noble traditions. Gentlemen, and ladies, your secrets are safe and are far from the subject of her book. Men in her life, both powerful or powerless, all had their own stories to tell, spoken and unspoken, as they and all of us trudge our pilgrim’s way along the pavements of the world. But her book is a far cry from a re-telling of life in a brothel.
Her story is a journey across time and space and cultures. And it’s also about discovery, of a first love lost, then found again after a generation. It’s a journey that millions of girls have been through, in every culture and every age, so in a sense she’s writing as ‘everywoman’. Lily hopes her story can illuminate some of the darker corners of what might shape, for better or worse, romantic and intimate relationships between men and women, especially those between Asians and Caucasians. Both will find something within the pages of her book that occasionally plays a sad chord but will also make you smile from time to time, as she steps, and sometimes lurches, between the horror to the sublime on her roller-coaster life.
Lily’s life, whether captured in a short film or in her very personal story told of spending her childhood exiled to the bitter North China countryside through to owning her beautiful Cherry Tree Garden today, is sure to put Lily Yang’s name alongside the more interesting “Madames” of our time.