Dr. Simon Hung, Chairman
Dr. Simon Hung, Chairman
“Sometimes, to get a person to eat an egg (dan), you need to make a cake (dan gao).” Simon Hung is the Chairman of Overseas Radio & Television, Inc., having served with ORTV since 1974.
Early Interest in the Arts
Born in Mainland China, Hung moved to Taiwan at age two. From a young age, Hung showed an early interest in the arts. After high school, he was accepted by the Drama Department at the Chinese Cultural University. Initially hesitant about his major, he re-discovered his passion for drama after watching a weeklong senior class production of Shakespeare’s King Lear and being moved to tears at each performance. Following graduation and service in the air force, Hung returned to the Drama Department as an Assistant Professor, where he helped produce eight Shakespearean plays.
Hung first learned about ORTV after graduating from university. Acting in his first movie where he was invited to use ORTV’s studios, Hung immediately fell in love with the organization and its people. Meeting Doris Brougham and the Heavenly Melody Singers the first time was a real highlight.“Doris was a very fascinating person, full of energy and encouragement, and the Heavenly Melody Singers looked like angels,” Hung recalls fondly, “I realized that ORTV’s staff were truly passionate about their work because of their Christian worldview and ORTV’s mission, and I said to myself, ‘Lord, if only I could work here someday.’”
The dream became a reality in 1974. Initially asked to recommend some of his drama students for an ORTV production, Hung was invited by Brougham and Lee Haggarty to join ORTV. On May 15, 1974, Hung began his career at ORTV as a scriptwriter in the Radio Department.
The turning point in Hung’s life came in 1977. One day, Hung was asked by the leading film director in Taiwan at the time to assist him in shooting a movie in Europe. Not only was this Hung’s lifelong dream, but his salary would also be twenty times what he was making at ORTV. Initially accepting the director’s offer, Hung changed his mind later that evening while meeting with other Christian artists before a rehearsal. “We were reading a story about Jesus’ disciples in the Bible in John 21,” Hung remembers, “Despite the fact that the disciples were professional fishermen, they couldn’t catch any fish. But when they followed Jesus’ voice, they caught so many they couldn’t even pull the net in by themselves.” Hung applied the story’s meaning to his own life. “Sometimes we feel like we are professionals, but if it is not God’s leading, then we are unsuccessful.
” Hung prayed hard that night and then turned down the director’s offer the next day. From that moment forward, Hung wholeheartedly committed his life to sharing God’s love through ORTV. Under Brougham’s encouragement, Hung tried new methods to share the Gospel. Believing that ministry needed to move beyond the traditional space of the church and meet people directly in a language and form that they could understand, Hung helped produce many of Asia’s first Gospel-message films, shows, and plays. Two Brothers (1979), Signals (1985) and No Regrets (1992), the first Chinese Gospel soap opera, were shown across theaters and on mainstream TV channels, engaging non-Christian audiences everywhere with thought-provoking life questions.
Dr. Hung Today
In 1985, Hung became the Executive Director of ORTV. To this day, Hung is often invited to speak in Taiwan and overseas about media ministry. Hung holds an honorary doctorate from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, California. Hung remains active in the community. Outside of ORTV, Hung serves on the boards of many major Christian media organizations in Taiwan and in Asia, such as Taiwan’s Magazine Association, GOODTV and the Chinese Christian Relief Organization. In 2004, he launched Taipei’s first Christian Arts Festival. Since 2007, Hung has been the convener of the National Prayer Breakfast in Taiwan. Hung and his wife Helen have two daughters, Wanda and Wendy.