I took a break immediately after the Song Joong Ki fan meet (btw, some great photos have already been uploaded onto my FB). It was an overdue break and I was looking forward to the sun, sand and sea and very frankly, a break from the avalanche of Hallyu activities as well. *Gasp!*
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still like Korean music (though I must say I haven’t found much inspiration from many of the new groups lately), I love Korean food and I would be in heaven if I get to go Korea again (crosses fingers). But with the number of fan meets, showcases and concerts happening very month, I was gasping for breath- like a goldfish out of the bowl. Part of the problem was- many of these artistes were rookies or newbies, with not much ‘work’ under their belt. It’s incredibly hard to be enthusiastic and ask interesting questions, especially when they often give standard answers with little show of character. I’ve often come away from these press conferences with the feeling that the artistes were giving scripted answers, which is likely to be true in some cases. Some did made me sit up though- Super Junior, Kang Ji Hwan, Kim Ha Neul, Bobby Kim, Kim Hyun Joong, Jay Park, Beast and most recently, Song Joong Ki to name few. Of course, time and experience do help somewha though some veterans are still as bland as a tofu when facing the media. Unfortunately, media’s questions don’t help in breaking the monotony either. The most often asked question?
“Have you tried chilli crab?”
The next time I get a chance, I’ll ask if the artiste(s) if they have tried char kway teow/ bak kut teh/ prata/ mee siam/ durian.
Still, despite my ‘complaint’ about the onslaught of Stars in Town, I am truely amazed at just how much ‘Korean-ess’ has grown over the years in Singapore. From the mushrooming of Korean restaurants (did you all read about the K-wave enclaves article in ST on 27 May 12?), to the number of Korean channels on cable to the wider range of Korean albums on sale, the wide coverage on Hallyu in every main and online media and even Korean groceries in our local supermarket. My cupboard now stores a constant supply of instant Korean noodles. ^^
And it’s not just growing big in Singapore either. Globally, Hallyu is starting to make inroads in markets previously thought impossible or obscure. SM held their SM Town Live in Paris, France and Madison Square, New York. Cube had the Cube United concert in London and now Big Bang has scheduled Peru and Brazil as part of their Big Bang Alive World 2012. I can’t think of any Asian artistes who have been to Peru and Braxil to hold a concert and I think it’s totally amazing. Now if only the organiser can hurry up and announce the ticketing details for their Singapore stop.
So it looks like Hallyu is here to stay for a while yet with the promise of more Korean artistes coming to our little red dot and more…
Coming up this weekend will be Boyz Nite Out by Launch Group and Shinhwa by PSMA Alpha (I’m totally hyped about this concert). Next month, there’s Kara. Others on the pipleline include Lee Seung Gi (August), Big Bang (September) and Wonder Girls (September). There are other rumours swirling around about other artistes but as they have yet to be announced or confirmed…
One very interesting girl group that will be debuting very soon is Alpha Entertainment’s own girl group consisting of both Koreans and Singaporeans (2 Singaporean girls to be exact). Watch out for the news about them. I’m excited about it already.
For those who are planning to travel to Korea, the must-have travel guide to K Pop/ K Drama will be launched next week. It will be on sale at Kinokuniya, HMV, Comics Connection etc and well, hopefully worldwide. (Hands up, those of you who wants to know where the drama, ‘Flower Boy Ramyun Shop’ was filmed ^^)
Annyeong Seoul, the Korean Fair that was held at Bukit Panjang Plaza last year will be back again this year at the same place in early September. We are firming up the vendors and programmes, so please bear with us for a little while.
Lastly, the shopping site- Seouly Shopping has just undergone a facelift. It’s still under some renovation but should be fnished soon. Look out for the sales and promotions once it’s done.
This has been a very general post because well, I’m still editing my articles (did you guess?). Thankfully, some wonderful people have covered and written some of them. They will be posted in the next few days and will provide a totally different style and perspective from mine, so please come back again soon to read about them. Or follow the FB and twitter accounts- Seoul Rhythms or Tiffanyonthemov.