Thursday, August 16, 2007
The Korean film "Happiness" starring Hwang Jeong-min and Im Soo-jeong has officially been invited to the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival.
The Toronto festival, called the 'Cannes' of North America, is the largest regional film market and one of the four major global film festivals after the Cannes, Berlin and Venice.
An official of the movie said, "An invitation to the festival's Contemporary World Cinema category came simply through a preview of the film's edited version, as full editing and mixing has yet to be done. It's double the pleasure to have been invited along with the Cannes winning Korean film 'Secret Sunshine'."
The Contemporary World Cinema category, regarded a key section at Toronto, invites award winning films and new productions by up-and-coming directors.
'Happiness,' directed by Heo Jin-ho, depicts the ultimately cruel love story of a couple who first meet at a nursing home.
Singer Chae Eun-jeong, known as 'Angel', is rising as a Hallyu star in China.
Less than a month after she debuted at the RNX Hallyu Concert held last month in China to mark 15th year of bilateral ties, her blog has opened on China's largest portal Sina.com.
The number of visitors topped 80,000 on Wednesday. Members of the blog have given Chae the nickname "sexy princess."
Also posted on the blog is her first solo album title song 'POP,' a music video, her profile, photos and some 500 online comments.
An official of her management agency said, ¡°Chinese fans have instantly took note of her charm. We will lend our best support so Chae can reach Hallyu stardom following singers like Lee Jeong-hyeon and Jang Nara."
The month-long exhibit will open Sept. 8.
In an interview with Sports Hankook, Lang said "I'm happy, as I feel that my work has been recognized by the home country of art. After the exhibit, the gallery wished to submit my works to the FIAC fair in October.
FIAC is the largest art market in France that will showcase over five days works by some 600 contemporary artists from 200 galleries worldwide, including New York, Venice and London.
Lang will present her created art work 'Taboo Yogini.' She says "If the exhibit proves successful, hopefully it will boost my US debut and gain wider recognition for me as a contemporary artist."
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Lang played the violin in the middle of a street wearing Victoria Secret lingerie and red high heels with kabuki style makeup. Her childhood dream was to become a violinist. And she realized the dream through art. Once, at the San Marco Piazza in Venice, she was held by the police for four hours, after which she became popular. Her performances thereafter continued to stand out. The New York born ethnic Korean is a US citizen. She only attended an international high school in Manila but her mannerisms and accent bear the hallmarks of a third generation Korean-American. Her Korean name is Park Hye-ryeong. But eyeing the world as her stage, she strategically changed her last name through help from a lawyer. "Lang" was the final choice among several names as it visually looked nice in typographic terms. Born into a well-to-do family, Lang however went through difficult times when her father died during her college years and her mother fell sick. At times, she couldn't pay her tuition. But through the trials, she developed a clear sense of life and living.
The evolving Taboo Yogini
Multi-talented Lang's unconventional character and provocative performances have grabbed the attention of the art, fashion and entertainment circles alike. In her trademark series 'Taboo Yogini,' characters such as a woman with a huge courtesan wig or a figure with a body of a robot and a head of a girl, rooster or dog appear. And invariably held in their hand is a powerful gun or a Louis Vuitton bag. In the backdrop is a car, a Chanel lipstick and other luxury brand logos. "Yogini" means an angel or a devil in the dictionary. Taboo Yogini, representing both good and bad, is a ceaselessly resurrecting spiritual being due to its persistent power and life energy. It is the symbol of Lang herself, her dreams, her wounds and her fight. The self-proclaimed 'walking pop art' doesn't hide her love for brand name and elite goods. Last year at the Seoul Arts Center, the bikini clad Lang asked audience members to put oil on her body before going on to sing 'Purple Scent' to the tune of a karaoke machine. She pulled off another eccentric performance "Nancy Lang's autograph session" during which she autographed her posterior as the inaugural artist of the Gwangju Biennale. The Taboo Yogini series is expected to evolve even more. In pursuit of breaking apart and assembling robots, Lang has only yet gathered the parts, and during the process she can let go of past regrets. Her work these days in fact show glimpses of her severing chains with the past and moving toward a fantastic future, portrayed by a wounded yogini and a guardian angel robot. If yogini was Peter Pan to Lang, the robot would be her Tinker Bell. It may be that she is inviting someone she can rely on in the future into her world filled with luxury goods.
Dreaming of Korea's Takashi Murakami
Her work and lifestyle and her brutally candid and daring speech and actions invite criticism at times. But she doesn't care. She confidently argues that, like a racehorse, she only runs toward a clear goal. She has firmly established herself as an artist reaching out to the public. Few others see art as showbiz as much as she does. But approaching show business with new ideas and works is a whole different realm. Her role model is Takashi Murakami, who successfully turned his character creations into art based on the animation, comics and games culture. Most of her works sell well and her name once topped the top online search word list. She knows what she wants, "I will become a world renowned artist who can influence the general public, and based on that foundation, I want to gain wealth and fame." We wonder what she will show us next, as she brings along issues and controversies wherever she goes with her art.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Sexy singer Seo In-young has maintained Korea's pride in archery.
With group member Park Jeong-a and break dancer Poppin Hyunjoon, Seo on July 30 attended an opening ceremony of a Chinese satellite variety program promoting the success of next year's Beijing Olympics.
During the show, Seo teamed up with Hyunjoon and took part in an archery match, finishing in first place among seven teams.
The program's producer said the energetic performance of the three has impressed many Chinese viewers.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The popularity of sexy singer Mina is soaring in China.
Her fourth album (in Chinese) to be released by a major Chinese record agency later this month has already received 150,000 advance orders. The Chinese record firm and her management is stunned, as the number would be high even for top notch Chinese singers.
Mina already sold 250,000 albums for her hit song 'Pick up the phone.' At the news of the staggering number of preorders, she reported excitedly exclaimed, "What if it sells a million copies?"
Mina will promote her fourth album in Korea while also touring China, Thailand and the Philippines.
Singer Bada will appear in two musicals in October: the one-person musical "Tell Me on a Sunday" and the French musical "Notre-Dame de Paris." The latter drew two million viewers in France and some 10 million viewers in 11 countries since its debut in 1998. In 2005, it was staged in Korea by the original French cast.
The musical in which Bada will play the lead is based on a novel by Victor Hugo. The cast will comprise Korean actors.
Bada will receive singing and acting training from the original French cast in France over two weeks in September.