Karen Mok

Karen Mok, born Karen Joy Morris on 2 June 1970, is a prominent Hong Kong pop diva and actress with a career spanning over three decades. Her multifaceted talent has made her one of the leading figures in the Asian entertainment industry. This article delves into her life, career, achievements, and notable contributions.

Early Life and Heritage

Karen Mok’s diverse heritage reflects her unique background. She was born in Hong Kong to a mother of mixed Chinese, German, and Persian ancestry and a father of mixed Welsh and Chinese descent. Notably, her grandfather was Alfred Morris, the first principal of King’s College, Hong Kong. Mok is a polyglot, proficient in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian, German, and French. Her early education took place at the Diocesan Girls’ School in Hong Kong. In 1987, she earned a scholarship to the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy, and graduated with an International Baccalaureate in 1989. Subsequently, she pursued Italian Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Music Career

Karen Mok’s journey into the music industry began while she was studying in London. She auditioned for the West End Musical “Miss Saigon” and simultaneously recorded music demo tapes with fellow students. This led to her first recording contract with Star Records. In 1993, she released her debut Cantonese album titled “Karen.” However, her breakthrough came with her first Mandarin album, “To Be,” in 1997. She has since released 17 studio albums, including successful ones like “做自己 To Be,” “全身莫文蔚 Karen Mok in Totality,” and “HALF TIME.” Her diverse musical repertoire includes chart-topping hits like “Ta Bu Ai Wo” and “Man Man Xihuan Ni.”

In 2013, Karen Mok ventured into the international music scene with her English album “Somewhere I Belong,” showcasing a fusion of East-meets-West jazz classics. Throughout her career, she has released numerous EPs and compilations, solidifying her position as a versatile artist. In 2018, she established her music label, Mok-a-by-baby records, in collaboration with Sony Music.

Concerts and Tours

Karen Mok’s electrifying stage presence has earned her a dedicated fan base. She embarked on her debut solo concert, “The Very Karen Mok Show,” in Taipei in 2000, captivating a massive audience of 20,000. Subsequently, she embarked on international concert tours, including “The Extremely Karen Mok Show,” “The Original Karen Mok Show,” and “The Age of MOKnificence,” celebrating her 20th anniversary in show business. Her concert tours often featured her in the role of creative director and producer.

Notable among her tours is “Regardez” in 2015/2016, which took her to 27 cities across Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. In 2018/2019/2021, she embarked on the “Ultimate” tour, culminating in Hong Kong in June 2021. Karen Mok announced that the “Ultimate” tour would be her last major concert tour as she planned to focus on other artistic activities.

Notable Collaborations

Karen Mok has shared the stage and studio with renowned global artists, further elevating her status as a versatile artist. She has collaborated with artists such as The Black Eyed Peas, Andrea Bocelli, Far East Movement, Lang Lang, John Legend, Sergio Mendes, Mika, Keanu Reeves, and Pharrell Williams.

Acting Career

In addition to her music career, Karen Mok has made a significant impact in the world of cinema. She made her film debut in 1993 with a cameo role in “The Tigers – The Legend of Canton” and went on to star in over 40 movies. Notable roles include her starring role alongside Stephen Chow in “A Chinese Odyssey” and her award-winning performance in Wong Kar Wai’s “Fallen Angels,” for which she received accolades.

Outside of Greater China, she appeared in the Hollywood production “Around the World in 80 Days” alongside Jackie Chan and the Thai horror movie “The Coffin.” She also played the female lead role in Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, “Man of Tai Chi.”

Karen Mok’s versatility extends to theatre and television, with roles such as playing the female lead Mimi in the 10th Anniversary Asian Tour of the Broadway musical “Rent” and providing the voice for Princess Kida in the Cantonese dub of Walt Disney’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.”

Public Image and Endeavors

Karen Mok’s influence extends beyond her artistic career. She served as a torchbearer for the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing and performed at the opening and closing ceremonies. In 2016, she was awarded the title of Cultural Ambassador of the Italian city of Bergamo, becoming the first Chinese recipient of this honor.

Mok has also ventured into the world of fashion and brands. She launched her own line of perfume in October 2008 and collaborated with Italian brand Rucoline, as well as developing her own designs. Her association with leading global brands such as Cadillac, Canon, Cartier, Chow Tai Fook, Clear, Kappa, Lux, Mandarin Oriental, Schwarzkopf, Schweppes, and Solvil et Titus has reinforced her presence in the fashion and lifestyle industry.

Activism and Charity

Beyond her artistic pursuits, Karen Mok is an advocate for animal welfare and has been actively involved in various campaigns. She has partnered with organizations like Animals Asia to support the protection of Asiatic black bears and protested against the culling of baby seals with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). She is also associated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Karen Mok currently serves as an ambassador for UNICEF, SPCA, Animals Asia Foundation, and Care for Children. In 2017, she established the Morris Charity Initiative, focusing on animal welfare, education, and the environment. The charity’s initial initiative involved raising funds for a scholarship at the United World College Changshu.

Personal Life

In 2011, Karen Mok married Johannes Natterer, a German-born individual, in a church near Florence, Italy. The couple splits their time between London and Karen’s international engagements. They celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary with a grand party at Kensington Palace in 2017.

Karen Mok’s remarkable career, versatility, and dedication to various causes have established her as a prominent figure in the world of entertainment, fashion, and philanthropy.

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Karen Mok filmography

Poster for the movie "Young and Dangerous 4"

Young and Dangerous 4

When the branch leader position is open for Tuen Mun, Chicken decides to run for it and is up against fellow Hung Hing member “Barbarian”, who resorts to ruthless Tung Sing member “Thunder Tiger” (Roy Cheung) for help in his candidacy. The triad also has to deal with finding a new chairman to the Hung Hing Society, Chiang Tin Yeung (Alex Man), Chiang Tin Sang’s older brother, who resides in Thailand. Young and Dangerous 4 … Read more

Poster for the movie "Out of the Dark"

Out of the Dark

Stephen Chow plays an “insane” person who is not afraid of anything. He also appears to be parodying Leon (the professional). Carrying his trusty plant and bag of cling wrap and chocolates he helps a young girl to rid her building of a couple of mean ghosts. *** When this amazing movie premiered, Stephen Chow was already one of Hong Kong’s biggest stars and a comic icon being compared with everyone from The Marx Brothers … Read more

Poster for the movie "A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella"

A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella

This sequel to “Pandora’s Box” continues director Jeffrey Lau’s adaptation of the Buddhism saga “Journey to the West”. Stranded five centuries in the past, Joker Monkey King must battle a variety of monsters, seductive women and super-powered villains to save the dying Pak Jing-Jing.

Poster for the movie "A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box"

A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora’s Box

When the Goddess of Happiness tosses the Longevity Monk and his disciples out of heaven (because the Monkey King tried to attain immortality), the Monkey King is reincarnated as the Joker. He now spends his time chasing two jealous women. When one of them is dying, the Joker goes back in time in an attempt to save her.

Poster for the movie "Dragon Heat"

Dragon Heat

Interpol agents and gangsters battle in Hong Kong. An “experimental” film by Eric Kot, featuring an all-star cameo cast.

Poster for the movie "Viva Erotica"

Viva Erotica

Sing’s last two films were flops, but he is given the helm on a Category III sex film and has to cope with a leading lady who won’t do nude scenes, Triad backers, and a crumbling relationship with his girlfriend.

Poster for the movie "The God of Cookery"

The God of Cookery

The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled, he sets out to reclaim his title.

Poster for the movie "The Twins Effect"

The Twins Effect

An evil Duke attempts to kill and collect the blood of a royal family of European vampires in order to become all powerful. The only surviving member of the family travels to Hong Kong, only to complicate his struggle by falling in love with a mortal girl who just happens to have a vampire hunter for a brother.

Poster for the movie "Haunted Office"

Haunted Office

Employees working at a high rise building begin encountering a series of strange occurrences. Ken, a recent hire who attracts to the lovely, but spiritually harried Shan. Meanwhile, Pat is apparently terrorized by the evil demon who resides in the last stall of the woman’s bathroom. And Richard, a mean boss of another company in the same building, wants to get rid of his long-time employee Mary and begins to suspect that his entire staff … Read more

Poster for the movie "Black Mask"

Black Mask

Chui Chik tries to lead a quiet life as a librarian. However, he is really a former test subject for a highly secretive supersoldier project and the instructor of a special commando unit dubbed “701.” The 701 squad is used for many government missions, but after one of the agents kills a team of policemen in an uncontrollable rage, the government decides to abort the project and eliminate all the subjects. Chui Chik helped the … Read more

Poster for the movie "East Meets West"

East Meets West

Tens of millennia ago, eight gods who ceaselessly fought each other were exiled to earth. For generations, they have been reincarnated as mere mortals, and they won’t be allowed back to heaven until they’ve learned to coexist in harmony. Then in today’s Hong Kong, a mortuary beautician and her has-been singer dad are chased for a huge sum of money they don’t owe. Turns out her materialistic stepmom has taken a tycoon’s advance payment on … Read more

Poster for the movie "Mr Cinema"

Mr Cinema

Zhou Heung Kong (Anthony Wong) runs the film projector in a Hong Kong cinema and staunchly embraces a left-wing viewpoint. Dedicated to his work, he screens movies over the course of decades, while also witnessing turbulent events of the times, including riots and other indicators of social change.

Poster for the movie "Lost Indulgence"

Lost Indulgence

After a car accident which kills him, the wife and son of a taxi driver take in the injured prostitute he was driving.

Poster for the movie "Task Force"

Task Force

Lin is a plain-clothes cop in the crime-riddled district of Mongkok who bungles a vice operation directed at mainland prostitues. He falls for a ditsy hooker who tells him the love of her life is a killer who once svaed her life in a shootout.

Poster for the movie "King of Comedy"

King of Comedy

Wan Tin-Sau is an actor who cannot seem to catch a break, since his only professional jobs are limited to being a movie extra. As well as being an actor, he is also the head of his village’s community center.

Poster for the movie "So Close"

So Close

A conflict of interest between two high-kicking assassin sisters is complicated as they’re pursued by the criminals who hired them and an equally high-kicking female cop.

Poster for the movie "Fallen Angels"

Fallen Angels

A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it’s dangerous and improper to become involved with a colleague, he sets out to find a surrogate for his affections. Against the sordid and surreal urban nightscape, he crosses path with a strange drifter looking for her mysterious ex-boyfriend and an amusing mute trying to get the world’s attention in his own unconventional … Read more

Poster for the movie "The Great Hypnotist"

The Great Hypnotist

The famous psychologist Xu Ruining has a raising career, when he met the troublesome patient Ren Xiaoyan. The meeting is not easy as feeble-looking Ren is point by point against him.

Poster for the movie "Best of the Best"

Best of the Best

Tung Tung just graduated from the police academy, encountering a Vietnamnese assassin on his first day on work. Tung in order to break through obstacle in his mind decides to join SDU. Among the teammates, Coolman feels resentment toward Tung, which he doesn’t understand. Later he discovers Coolman is actually his step brother. Tung actively tries to get close to Coolman, but is rejected. When training reaches its last stage, Coolman and Tung’s team reencounters … Read more

Poster for the movie "The Law Of Attraction"

The Law Of Attraction

Country: China Production Company: Angel Wings Entertainment Genre: Drama Director: Zhao Tian Yu Starring: Wen Zhang, Bai Bai He, Zhang Jing Chu, Guo Tao, Leon Dai, Karen Mok, Bowen Duan, Huang Huan Length: 97 mins Date of release: 8th April, 2011

Poster for the movie "A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box"

A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora’s Box

Fantasy adventure about the arrival of Buddhism in China. When the Goddess of Happiness tosses the Longevity Monk and his disciples out of heaven (because the Monkey King tried to attain immortality), the Monkey King is reincarnated as the Joker. He now spends his time chasing two jealous women. When one of them is dying, the Joker goes back in time in an attempt to save her.

Poster for the movie "Better and Better"

Better and Better

Sun Xiangcheng, a self-styled professional fan organiser, is called from his home village of West Well Valley by his mother Yuanfang. Thinking he’s highly connected with celebrities, she asks him to help organise the village’s New Year celebrations

Poster for the movie "Man of Tai Chi"

Man of Tai Chi

In Beijing, a young martial artist’s skill places him in position to experience opportunities and sacrifices.

Poster for the movie "The Road Less Traveled"

The Road Less Traveled

The movie tells the tragic story of a Semi-truck driver (Louis Koo) who accidentally runs over and kills a restaurant owner (Yin Xiaotian) in a car accident. When he finds out that Yin’s wife (Huang Yi) is pregnant and has to work hard to run her husband’s business, he decides to help her even though it may anger his girlfriend (Karen Mok). The film goes through the stages of people’s lives and love.

Poster for the movie "Go Lala Go!"

Go Lala Go!

About a working class woman climbing her way up the corporate ladder and scoring a hot, rich boyfriend along the way, this romantic comedy is based on the same-name popular novel.

Poster for the movie "Young and Dangerous 3"

Young and Dangerous 3

Chan Ho Nam and Chicken are back again in Young and Dangerous 3, this time taking on the rival “Tung Sing” triad, who is attempting to usurp Hung Hing influence in Hong Kong by having Tung Sing member “Crow” (Roy Cheung) frame Ho Nam for the murder of Hung Hing Chairman Chiang Tin Sang (Simon Yam). On the plus side, Chicken finds a new love interest in Wasabi (Karen Mok), the daughter of the comedic … Read more

Poster for the movie "All the Way"

All the Way

This love story is disguised as a road drama and a crime story with all the twists and turns along the way. Aptly directed by Shi Runjiu, with engaging cinematography that matches the feel of the story, All The Way involves many stories of many people surrounding one goal—find the guy who’s got the goods.

Poster for the movie "Shaolin Soccer"

Shaolin Soccer

A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.