Monday, August 25, 2008

Rain Says Closing Ceremony Performance Was 'Electrifying'

Singer and actor Rain performed "Beijing, I Love Beijing" with popular Chinese entertainers during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics held at the Main Olympic Stadium, or the "Bird's Nest," on August 24. Rain performed with popular singers Wang Lee Hom, Kelly Chen and Han Xue.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Rain right after the performance:

Q. When did you get the offer to perform in the closing ceremony?

A. A year ago, I was asked to perform with an American artist. Later, they changed the theme to "Asian Unity" and decided to invite Chinese singers to perform. The organizing committee asked me to represent Korea. I later heard that film director Zhang Yimou, who was the artistic director for both the opening and closing ceremonies, recommended me. The plan was finalized four months prior to the Olympics, and I met with the singers a month before to record all the songs. We sang two lines each and sang the chorus together.

Q. You've performed in numerous large-scale concerts throughout your career, but isn't this your first time performing in front of 90,000 audience members and billions of TV viewers?

A. I performed in front of 40,000 audience members during my Beijing concert. However, my heart started pounding at the thought of having to sing in front of 90,000 people from all over the world and the sheer size of the whole performance. Each and every one of the singers I performed with on the evening of the closing ceremony was extremely passionate. Athletes became one and enjoyed the whole party. I felt electrified and excited at the same time. It's been a huge honor.

Source:KBS Global

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kwon, Son to Tie the Knot on Sept. 28

Kwon Sang-woo (left) and Son Tae-yong are to be married on Sept. 28.

The actor couple Kwon Sang-woo and Son Tae-young are getting married on Sept. 28. "I thought she was a good person with an innocent heart after I saw a program on TV where she wept while talking about her past,” Kwon said in a press conference in Seoul on Friday. “I was introduced to her by an acquaintance, and we started dating shortly afterward.” The romance was recently made public by a sports newspaper. Kwon said he swore his love for her in a hot-air balloon in Australia, where he gave her a necklace. "She is the biggest energy of my life. She makes me laugh, and makes me have hope," he said.

The Internet was abuzz with the news. Son, who entered the entertainment business after coming third in the 2000 Miss Korea pageant, has been known for dating a string of men. They included composer Joo Young-hoon, actors Shin Hyun-jun and Yoon Tae-young, singer Tim and music video director Cool K. Some Internet users cast doubt on her sincerity after she said on a recent TV program she did not think she could date again since she still smarts from past relationships. Others congratulated the couple, saying their love is all that matters and expressing hope they will live together happily.

Some Internet users speculate Son might be pregnant. Kwon told reporters he would do his best to answer their questions and offered details on the proposal, their dating and the reaction of their families. But when asked if Son was pregnant, he was silent.

That only fueled the rumors. Entertainment insiders say there must be a very persuasive reason why the couple decided to marry now. Son is incommunicado.

Japanese sports newspapers Nikkan Sports and Sponichi Saturday’s edition gave prominent coverage to news of the impending wedding. The Sponichi offered a detailed account of Kwon’s press conference and their romance. “Kwon repeatedly said how happy he is about their marriage, and it seemed as if he were reading lines from Korean soap operas,” the daily said.

The press conference confirmed Kwon’s status as one of the leading figures of the Korean Wave as it drew reporters from numerous outlets including Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

Lee Yoeng-ae – Hong Kong’s Favorite Star

A survey conducted by The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) that included 1,632 Hong Kong citizens revealed that Hong Kong’s favorite Korean star is Lee Yeong-ae.

According to the results, Lee Yeong-ae received a remarkable 16.1% of the total votes, followed by Song Hye-gyo, who came in close second with 15.9%. Furthermore, the highly acclaimed drama Daejanggeum’ received a staggering 26.7% of the votes, while the movie ‘My Sassy Girl’ came in second with 18.5%. When survey takers were asked about the Hallyu Wave, 90.9% answered that they were aware of what it was. Of those, 49.5% said that they were greatly influenced by the popularity of Korean entertainment, while 38.2% answered that they were somewhat influenced.

When asked about what truly represented Korean tourism, 38.4% of the voters regarded Seoul and Jeju-do Island as the most recognized ‘tourist attractions’, with ‘food’ and ‘Hallyu’ topping the list as well. The most desired tourist highlight in Korea was Jeju-do with 39.5%, followed by Seoul with 33.9%. As for recreational activity, 13.5% replied that they most wanted to discover Korea’s scenic landscapes and natural beauty.

Moreover, 77.4% answered that they had plans to visit Korea someday. An astounding 52.5% plan to visit within a year, and 24.5% within the next 6 months.

KTO Hong Kong Branch Vice President Je Sang-won states, “When asked about the level of interest in movies, dramas, and tourist attractions, the votes showed that 42% answered that they were highly interested. We plan to develop tour packages such as filming location tours with the surveys in mind and combine the Hally Wave popularity along with the charming elements of Korea tourism for local marketing strategies.”

This survey was taken by the Hong Kong public who visited the ‘2008 Hong Kong International Tourism Expo’ in June.

Source: Korea Sparkling

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Lee Dong-gun Releases First Album in Korea in 10 Years

Sony BMG recently announced that actor Lee Dong-gun's debut album in Japan, entitled "My Biography" and released in June, is out in Korea.

It is his first album release in Korea in the ten years since his debut in 1998, when he was still in high school.

Sony BMG said Lee signed a contract with Sony Music Japan earlier this year and subsequently released his first single in March and a repackaged version in June. The company said the album will be distributed in Korea by Sony BMG.

The album, which contains a total of 14 songs, features six songs in Korean, six songs in Japanese and two instrumental tracks without lyrics. The album also includes a DVD which shows clips from his photo shoots and recording sessions in Japan as well as bits and pieces from his everyday life.

Lee plans to hold a concert in Japan on August 22.

source: KBS Global

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Won Bin Joins Vuitton, GQ in Charity Project

Actor Won Bin /Photo provided by Pressync

Korean wave star
and actor Won Bin, who was named goodwill ambassador for UNICEF last year, has joined Louis Vuitton and men’s magazine GQ, this time for a new charity project.

The money raised through the photo project will be going to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake in China together with funds raised by UNICEF Korea as well as UNICEF Japan. Louis Vuitton and GQ said they decided to go ahead the project with Won when he expressed his wish to do something meaningful for child ren.

Won’s photos will be featured on GQ Korea's cover and also seen in major men’s fashion magazines in eight Asian countries including Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Won, who has not been spotted much in the entertainment arena except for a few advertisements since his discharge from the compulsory military service in June 2006 is now scheduled to start shooting a new film titled “Mother,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, this autumn.


source: Chosun

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bae Yong-jun's Korean Restaurant 'Gosireh' Celebrates 2nd Anniv.

"Gosireh" is a traditional Korean restaurant in Japan made famous for its interior design, fresh organic ingredients and menu personally picked by actor Bae Yong-joon. The celebrated restaurant marks its second anniversary this year, and will hold a special event to mark the occasion.

From August 2 to 27, Gosireh will feature a special "summer feast." During this period, the restaurant will randomly pick three couples and take them on the same tour that Bae went on when he visited Japan to promote his popular drama series "Taewangsasingi."

The selected customers will ride in the same car that Bae Yong-jun used during his visit to Japan in June.

The Nagoya branch of Gosireh is slated to open on September 10. The Nagoya branch will be less of a restaurant than a bar in which customers can enjoy light Korean meals as well as Korean liquor.

source: KBS Global

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Actress Yun Eun-hye to Hold First Fan Meeting in Japan

Actress Yun Eun-hye will hold her first fan meeting in Japan next month.

The title of the fan meeting, to be held at the Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo on September 19, is "Birthday." Yun plans to thank her Japanese fans who visited Korea every year to celebrate her birthday with her.

The former singer, who made her acting debut through the popular drama series "Gung," or "Palace," stole the hearts of her Japanese fans once again through her role in "'Coffee Prince."

During the upcoming two-hour fan meeting, Yun plans to show her fans a never-before-revealed video, host a talk show and personally shake hands with around 2,000 fans.

source: KBS Global

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