Desmond Tan talks about new Chinese New Year drama Home Again and his French wedding

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·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read
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Desmond Tan and Ya Hui in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)
Desmond Tan and Ya Hui in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)

SINGAPORE — Channel 8's new Chinese New Year-themed drama, Home Again, will be released next week, streaming on MeWatch from 17 January and premiering on Channel 8 on 18 January.

The 20-part series stars Desmond Tan as a long-lost son who was abducted as child labour to another country when he was eight years old, but finds his way back to his family after 25 years.

The cast of Home Again also includes Pierre Png, Ya Hui, Edwin Goh, Kiki Lim, Richard Low, Lina Ng, Zheng Wan Ling and Priscelia Chan.

The drama revolves around two families who run a vegetable farm. Tan's character, Jian Kang, somehow picks up skills about farming when he was a child slave in Thailand. When he reunites with his family and joins them on the farm, he imparts his knowledge about hydroponic farming and helps to transform the traditional farm into a high-tech vertical farm.

I think the main gist of this entire show is about separation, reunion, and also highlighting the importance of family and loved ones.

Ya Hui, Lina Ng and Kiki Lim in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)
Ya Hui, Lina Ng and Kiki Lim in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)

We caught up with Desmond Tan, fresh off his wedding last month in France, to talk about the new drama as well as his overseas nuptials.

Tan isn't a stranger to the subject of vertical farming, which has become a sustainable mode of agriculture for land-scarce cities. "Many, many years back when I was still in junior college, we had this subject called project work. My friends and I actually chose the topic of vertical farming for our group project. It was very new and not many people actually talked about it. Eventually, vertical farming became an "in" thing in the farming industry."

Home Again's storyline ties in with the upcoming Chinese New Year period, beginning on 1 February this year, which is traditionally a time of family gatherings and reunions.

Kiki Lim, Edwin Goh, Zheng Wan Ling, Ya Hui, Pierre Png, and Richard Low in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)
Kiki Lim, Edwin Goh, Zheng Wan Ling, Ya Hui, Pierre Png, and Richard Low in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)

"The story revolves around how this family goes through a roller coaster of losing someone, and they never gave up and they continue to look for the missing family member for the longest time," said Tan. "Eventually that perseverance didn't go to waste and the son came back. I think the main gist of this entire show is about separation, reunion, and also highlighting the importance of family and loved ones."

Tan says the drama also happens to reflect real-world problems that people face during the pandemic, such as those who were separated from their families by travel restrictions. "Some of our friends are unable to go back to their family overseas. At least for my industry, we have a lot of crew members who are from Malaysia, and they have not been going home for the past two years. I think this show highlights that kind of separation, the kind of pain that people go through, the kind of torment of not being able to see the people we love. So I think the audience will actually have some resonance with this drama."

Lina Ng, Richard Low, Zheng Wan Ling, Edwin Goh and Kiki Lim in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)
Lina Ng, Richard Low, Zheng Wan Ling, Edwin Goh and Kiki Lim in Channel 8 drama Home Again. (Still: Channel 8)

I couldn't let Tan go without chatting about his romantic wedding to his long-time girlfriend in the south of France in December. He had shared pictures of his marriage, which was held at a chateau. Tan declined to share the exact location, although his Instagram posts show that during his post-wedding vacation, he visited Marseilles, Nice, Menton, Avignon and Paris.

Asked why he chose to tie the knot in France, the 35-year-old said it's a romantic place that anyone would want to visit. He had not travelled out of Singapore for the past two years amid the pandemic, and when travel restrictions were relaxed near the end of last year, Tan took the chance to go abroad. "I thought I just wanted to bring some of my friends overseas for an interesting event, and then to kind of celebrate life. Many years back I started travelling around European countries, and France was always one of the places that I wanted to go to. I wanted to see the source of the wines that I drink, and go to the source of the food that I love eating."

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