SINGAPORE —After 36 years in the industry, actor Zheng Geping will no longer be a full-time artiste managed by Mediacorp's The Celebrity Agency from 1 February.
In an Instagram post on Thursday (12 January), the 58-year-old called his move to leave a "very painful decision".
He added, "I decided to take a break, pray, empty my mind in my own space and take the move to achieve those I longed to do. My intuition will always show me the positive paths."
CNA Lifestyle reported that Zheng had already decided to leave at the beginning of last year, or even earlier.
He said he had dropped a hint at last year's Star Awards ceremony when he won the All-time Favourite Artiste award.
"We'll meet again on the road," he said during his speech.
Needed space to 'empty his mind'
In an interview with CNA Lifestyle, Zheng said he needed space to empty his mind, think and refocus, adding that had lost a bit of his original self and what he wanted to do.
He also shared with online local media outlet 8days.sg that while he has received offers, he has yet to sign with any company.
The actor, who entered showbiz in 1987 after completing SBC's 7th Professional Drama Performers' Training Course, won his first Best Actor award for his role in 2007's Like Father Like Daughter.
He has since expanded into fitness and behind-the-scenes work, serving as executive producer for several Mediacorp productions, including The Good Fight in 2019. According to his Instagram post, he has acted in 125 drama series and telemovies, as well as nine films.
Zheng married fellow actress Hong Huifang, who was recently nominated for Best Leading Actress at the 59th Golden Horse Awards for her role in the film Ajoomma.
Their two children have also followed in their parents' footsteps and entered show business. Calvert Tay, now 22, debuted on the TV show While We're Young, while daughter Tay Ying, 26, has also been part of Mediacorp under The Celebrity Agency.
"I’ve had many good experiences, memories, friends and colleagues. Always grateful to those who guided me, taught me, shared with me different perspectives and encountering very interesting human relationships," he wrote in his Instagram post.
"I am very grateful to have experienced all these in good faith and I am very thankful for MediaCorp and all my colleagues."