Tuesday, June 27, 2006

BYJ's photocommentary

gosh, i'm missing yong joon and i'm missing Quilt!! but i'm pretty sure that if worse comes to worst, the entire BYJ family will pitch in and share whatever info they have saved to rebuild our beloved Quilt again.

btw, i noticed that i've been blogging a bit lately. i must admit that i got a little lazy the last few weeks but i told myself that i have to make up for some of my future lost time ....huh?? yes, i will be away for a number of days next month and i'm already starting to make up..haha !!

anyways, i've read tons of very interesting and inspiring BYJ articles and i love love all of them but there are a number of pieces that have a special place in my heart.

ok, must admit i got a little paranoid with happened to Quilt so i've decided to repost here in my blog a few of my favorite BYJ articles. oh, how i would love to post all my favorite BYJ pieces...i guess i should start saving all these precious BYJ articles/interviews/translations. just in case...

one of my most favorite is this 2003 Cine21 article wonderfully translated by Youngsun onni. this photocommentary, as they call it, is very special for me coz this was written by none other than our man, Bae Yong Joon. yes, yes !!!....i'm not sure if this is the first time he did this but it sure is the first time i read an article written by him. and mind you, he even took the black & white photos !! i do hope yong joon will come up with pieces like this more often :)

he wrote this photocommentary during the filming of Untold Scandal. most of the pictures were reposted so many times in various sites and blogs but it sure feels a little different looking at them accompanied by words from the gorgeous man himself ^^

BYJ's Photocommentary on Untold Scandal
[Trans] Cine21(10/14/2003, No. 422)

Written by Bae Yong Joon, leading actor of Untold Scandal
Black & White Photos by Bae Yong Joon

Translated by 잔돌밭youngsun & originally posted in BYJ's KOB

[Manggeon*1) tightening my head, anxiety irritating Mr. Director]

"My God, 4 months' shooting from now on... Luckily, I didn't seal the contract yet"

It's not until both the movie company and I had to pass over several obstacles that I was given the role of Jo Won, the unprecedented playboy. As for my party, all including my managers objected desperately to my choice of a 'period movie' as my debut to the silver screen. And Mr. Director himself never dreamt to cast me as Jo Won. I could understand them. Judged from my drama images, it was sure to be a venture. The stronger the objections from my acquaintances became, however, the more intensely something from my inside kept signaling, "It's my role". Nevertheless, I couldn't imagine myself wearing a topknot, either. I as well as the movie company agreed to a tentative makeup test: I took off glasses, wore a beard and mustache, then a traditional costume, and then a topknot. When I did all my hair up into a topknot, and tightened the manggeon for the first time in my life, my head started to ache all at once. My only thought at the moment was to throw away everything. Director Lee Jaeyong was so meticulous that he would not permit girding a manggeon around short hair when wearing a topknot. Umm, then, I would always have to do my hair up tight like this... Their unanimous inspiring responses that it suited me surprisingly well made me forget the ache, but only for an instant... Four months' shooting period... I felt dizzy in the head... Umm...didn't I seal the contract yet, did I?

"Press hard! I've done enough for myself..."

All the actors make it a rule to prepare much before starting their new works, but, this time, I had to learn even 'how to walk' newly. Before shooting, I learned the poise of the nobility, manners of wearing a traditional costume, and the tea ceremony. Trying this or that gesture in an unaccustomed traditional costume, I felt even walking was difficult. I also had to learn how to ride a horse and to use a sword. Moreover, as Jo Won kept porno graphs of his love affairs with women, I had to learn drawing Korean paintings as well. Our ancestors were said to be good at everything; they were not only good at poetry, calligraphy and painting, but could plan their own houses. How lucky I am to be born in the 20th century! There still remained an important task of weight loss; muscular physique didn't become a scholar in the Joseon Dynasty. For 2 months until the movie crank-in I increased the amount of exercise greatly and began a spare diet. At last everybody, on seeing me, began to mention I had lost weight. However, the staff whom I met almost everyday didn't show any response. One day when shooting was taken in Andong, I told Producer Yujin and still photographer Taehwan triumphantly to press me down on the abdomen, only to receive no response from them. Saying "Well, how can we tell that you have lost weight or not, because we don't know how you were before?", they hurried to the snack table...

"May we finish it safe and sound"

On Feb. 6, 2003. At last came the first day of shooting. Cold winter wind pierced into me through the thin traditional costume. There held a sacrifice to gods for the safe progress of filming. I, together with Sister Misook, and Ms. Doyon, made ceremonial deep bows toward the smiling head of a pig with bills of money in its mouth. That posture of propping hair with her hands, to support the weight of her 4kg-heavy wig, would harass Sister Misook throughout the shooting period more than my topknot did me. What did I think of, while bowing that deeply? Jo Won in blindingly white robe made wishes softly... Mr. Director, staff members, Sister Misook, Ms. Doyon...all of them are competent and trustworthy...may we finish this long trail safe and sound! Then, the new movie actor Bae Yongjoon murmured his wishes... May my first movie not disappoint those nice persons who believe me with their best...may it be kept as a page of good memory in my life album!

"Cigarettes increase in number, whereas my body decreases in weight!"

It is quite true that nothing on the earth is easy to deal with. Dialogues such as 'hath done', 'dost thou know...' were like no less than foreign jargons to me, and their quantity was substantial. Moreover, the insidiousness of the character Jo Won was beyond imagination. Though I had spoken countless sweet dialogues and shed much tear, I could not tackle easily such a character as was confessing sincere love with his own mouth, but, on turning around, was wearing a mean smile instantly. The taciturn Director Lee Jaeyong seemed much worried inwardly. Ah~~ my hand turned automatically to a cigarette that I had avoided for a while. I could hear my weight reducing. I should not have lost weight intentionally before. His serious expression seen in the picture was captured at Seoul Cinema Complex on one day of the two months when the Buyongjeong scenes had been shot. Might he want to fly away the sense of obligation and stress in cigarette smoke...?

"How queer Mr. Director was at yo scenes"

A 'yo' scene... a very witty term referring to a bed scene of a period movie. Women with whom Jo Won slept were numerous, including kisaengs*2), So-ok who was both a would-be concubine to the husband of Lady Jo, Jo Won's cousin, and daughter to his ex-mistress (what a pair of mom and daughter they were!), etc,. Therefore, I shot a number of yo scenes... Jo Won, yes, he really has many women, I thought. It was not merely its performance but its appearance on the big screen that annoyed me. Moreover, it was also the role of a male actor to cover the actress when she became strained with yo scenes. However, I myself had never shot those scenes before! Worried that I might feel awkward at my first bed scenes, Mr. Director was so kind as to give a bodily demonstration of every bed scene. Mr. Director demonstrating solemnly those things ranging from odd moans to queer motions looked to me no less than a savior. The shooting site was filled with tension... Something must be wrong. Mr. Director and Sister PD, looking at the monitor, were exchanging words in a low voice for fear that someone might overhear them. I gave an unnecessarily loud shout, "Well, what are you two talking about? Please speak up for me to hear you!!" At the instant, the site was full of laughter. However, I seem not to have succeeded in hiding the pressing tension despite of my hard effort to shake it off. The picture, taken during the interval of yo scenes, shows me making a face with the head twisted to one side, at the corner of the shooting site...

"Sister Lee Misook, may I call you Big Brother?"

I felt particularly at ease whenever there was a shooting with Sister Misook. Perhaps thanks to her deep and rich personality, I could appreciate every advice of her who took the voluntary duty of a training instructor. The range of her view was wider than anyone else at the shooting site to an extent that she was called 'production director'. I felt very respectful of her who could turn her rich experiences into care and generosity for her juniors and peers. She shows personally what a 'senior' should be. I sometimes felt like calling her 'Big Brother'... Toward the end of filming, I could afford psychological serenity to pick up a camera and took to my own photographing. This picture of Sister Misook was taken by me during the interval between shooting scenes for the opening title sequence where I exchanged a subtle glance with her for the first time: she, in a magnificent white court dress, was discussing on the next scene with Sister PD. The presence of Sister Misook seen through the viewfinder of a camera either still or in motion pictures was felt very huge to beyond expression.

"What a pity for Mr. Director to waste his acting skill..."

Although I'd already heard that Director Lee Jaeyong was meticulous, it was far beyond imagination. His sense of humor was also extraordinary. How terse and witty his word was! It was such that you would explode into laughter only when you went your way one or two steps, and then, stopping your way, would look back at him again. Moreover, his demonstration of acting for characters was another fun of the shooting site. His demonstrations for wicked and bewitching expressions of Lady Jo, deceitful manners of Jo Won, and decent walking of Lady Sook as well made me wonder why he didn't become an actor himself. The picture shows me, standing side by side with him and following his hand movements. As we studied together which performance could be better, our postures and expressions might get assimilated. The poises of Mr. Director and me looking down at the monitor are almost the same, excepting the difference of our heights. Another characteristic of him is that he never shouts. Mr. Director in my photos was shown only in silhouette, buried in the background; like himself who didn't lose his own pace, however noisy his surrounding was.

"Hurry up, finish kissing quickly!"

While on persistent operations to seduce Lady Sook, the role of JDY, I was shooting a kissing scene, the supposedly fatal blow to her. Its tension was no less than that of yo scenes. Though the kissing was instant, it meant Lady Sook the first bodily relationship confirming her feelings of love, and, to me, the flashing realization that she, unlike other women, should not be trifled with. As the expression of this subtle feeling was more difficult than the smile of a playboy, I made quite many NGs. Moreover, as hairs of my beard and mustache glued around my mouth fell off, I had to redress them whenever I made an NG. As it kept raining on of off, with changeable weather, the staff was also worried. The looks of those surrounding the two serious-looking actors were graver. They might urge secretly, "Hurry up, finish kissing quickly!!! Before we have more rain!!!"

"All of you did really great jobs"

Nobody who hasn't experienced the hardship of the staff can know the degree of their difficulties. To say nothing of the long preparation term and the great shooting trail from winter to summer, for it was a period movie which required the attentive hands of the staff to every bit of its details, the sight of the staff working at the location was enormously touching. The art team was busy applying bean oil on the all corners of the floor in the Korean room within camera angles, and sprinkling water there for better color effect. They worked so hard that the shooting director, checking camera angles, would shout, "No! That's out of the angle! No more of it!!!" The grip team had to stand in the pond all day long, drenched to the waist, to hold the boat loaded with cameras for the boating scenes at Unrimsanbang; the assistant director planted out-of-season reeds one by one; the lighting team gazed ruefully at the whimsical sun playing hide and seek with clouds. However, they would not know how beautiful they looked every instant. Click, click, as I photographed their looks with my camera, their memories were kept in my mind. The filming period was felt only too long at the time... On retrospect, it's felt thrilling as if it had been an instant. Now, [Untold Scandal], out of the hands of those who produced it, has passed to the audience for the final judgment. For me, it will become a precious memory that I will turn to over and over again like an aged B&W picture.

*1) manggeon: a horsehair-woven headband
*2) kisaeng: a female entertainer who makes a feast or a drinking party more enjoyable

a feeting tribute

for the record....i'm sooooo missing yong joon sooooo much !!!

i have this tendency to become restless and impatient but i've learned a great deal about patience since i became a BYJ fan. i've been telling myself to get used to this waiting game since day one but sometimes, it's just so achingly long waiting for him and i'm just dying to see him again on the big screen, small screen, or wherever as long as i'll see him again. but i guess this is an integral part of yong joon's one-of-a-kind mystique. his ability to build this intense anticipation for his next appearance, the longing to see him again even with just a single picture or a 1 minute vod.

and so, in my endless quest to quench my thirst for any BYJ related stuff, i'mgoing to do another blogging on a part of his body. oh yes, its time for my anatomy 101 class again. i've been wanting for a long long time to blog about his big and lovely feet and i have this chance to do it now.

actually, big feet have a special place in my heart. when i was a little girl, i used to hop and step on the feet of my daddy and then, w/ his laughter on the background, he would walk around the house w/ my arms wrapped tightly around him! i used his feet like a stilt and boy, it felt so much fun walking on two big feet ^^

btw, yong joon has a nice pair of sexy looking feet. i'm not very sure about his size but for a guy who is 180cm in height, the size of his feet probably ranges from 10 to 11 inches ?? i think his feet are the rather unsung heroes of his much blogged about body parts. must keep remembering that this hardy pair are the reason why he has this elegant long legged stride, why he has this graceful and refined movements, why he stands above the rest.

here are a few of my favorite BYJ feet-ures *wink*

hmm, the guy w/ the lighter colored shirt is our yong joon. the other guy w/ an equally big feet is director hur jinho ^^

now, in my make-believe BYJ scenario.......if ever yong joon will offer his lovely feet to relive my stilt walking, i can't guarantee what i will do to him if he appears before me looking like this....yup, total guarantee not included ^^

Monday, June 26, 2006

a glimpse of byj behind byj

yong joon has gone invisible again....byj news are hard to find lately....nothing much to post in soompi and quilt is still down !!!

w/ all these scenarios, i might as well make use of my 'byj time' and look back at some of his photos.

i'm so used to seeing yong joon w/ his refined and impeccable manners during his rare public appearances and its such a blast to see pictures and watch vods of yong joon when he is dressed down, relaxed and simply enjoying the common rituals of ordinary folks like us.

i kind of pity him when i first saw this photo. a dozing yong joon means a very tired yong joon...coz this guy is not a big fan of the sleeping habit.

it always makes me smile whenever i see yong joon cuddling a little child. makes me think of how he will look like when he'll become a daddy ^^

this is probably how he looks like when he's running late for an appointment :)

oh there you are yong joon!! sitting in a corner, away from the crowd and tinkering with his favorite toy.

enjoying the camaraderie of his co workers. i like the way he put his arms around those guys. looks like a man's man to me.

what's this? leading a dance practice w/ his winter sonata co-stars?

look at him...biting his fingernails? he looks shy when he's caught by the camera while waiting for their food.

the athletic in him knows no place and time. love how those pants and shirt stretched over that to-die-for body !!

he looks so cute in this pic. i won't mind giving him a relaxing foot spa ^0^

the animal lover in shorts!! one of those very rare times we see yong joon in his house attire !!

a deadly combination. yong joon w/o the glasses and using his fingers while eating....waaahh!!

he loves doing that to his cheeks which i find so adorably sexy !

looking yummy while reading a newspaper with folded pants. only yong joon can get away with that.

getting a bit drunk to add realism to a scene in AS...love the professionalism of this guy.

looks like a grown up kid in a suit whispering secrets with a playmate ^^

the favorite V sign!! nice to see him having fun while doing his job.

the breathstopping effect of his casual get up is just the same when he's wearing a suit...at least for me!!

yong joon on all fours. a superstar signing autographs on the floor. how down to earth is that ??

Sunday, June 25, 2006

beyond hallyu

there's an article today in Korea Times that touched on hallyu or korean wave...here's the full text ~

Can ‘Hallyu’ Maintain Popularity?

Hallyu, the Korean wave, has spread like a wild fever among Asian nations. Thanks to the popularity of Korean culture, Korea’s international image is positive. Moreover, hallyu has paved the way for Korea to have friendlier relationships with other nations.
However, can hallyu carry on to spread more widely and maintain its popularity? If Korea wants hallyu to continue, it should perform two significant tasks. First, diversification of cultural content in hallyu is needed. In addition, hallyu should not be a means of cultural imperialism.

Currently, the success of hallyu is mostly thanks to Korean celebrities. Popular stars such as Rain, Lee Young-ae and Bae Yong-joon attract Asians. Especially, Bae is considered one of the most honorable people in Japan due to his fascinating role in ``Winter Sonata.’’

Yet, there are risks in hallyu when it depends, too much on celebrities. When celebrities’ popularity falls, so can hallyu. Furthermore, Korean soap operas support the hallyu fever. Yet, themes in dramas seem to be reaching their limits. Most dramas have become too similar in content as is seen in the familiar theme of a love triangle.

If such problems persist, other nations might get sick and tired of Korean dramas, which could eventually lead to the demise of hallyu. Thus, Korea must diversify its cultural items. For instance, Korean food can become an international preference _ it is not only delicious but also nutritious.

Moreover, we need support studies on the Korean alphabet “hangul.” As hangul is a scientific and sophisticated alphabet, other nations will be attracted to it and could have more opportunities to learn it.

At the same time, Korea should not take advantage of hallyu as a step to cultural imperialism. Korean culture has already spread to various places in the world. Furthermore, the impact of Korean culture has been substantial. Yet, as always, if there is enmity, there is hostility. Hallyu should not be the means to conquer other cultures to assimilate them into Korean culture. Such an attempt could spark antagonistic reactions to hallyu. For instance, China banned Korean soap operas after realizing they posed a threat to its own dramas. In other words, China feared its culture might face risks. Thus, Korea should try to cooperate with other nations to develop both its own culture and others’ cultures.

In conclusion, hallyu can be a continual phenomenon when Korea realizes two preconditions. A variety of cultural items are necessary for hallyu to continue to thrive. In addition, hallyu should not be an expedient to cultural imperialism. Co-existence is momentous. Gradual efforts to improve hallyu can lead to a culturally rich international society.

source: http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200606/kt2006062518125654070.htm

this is the first time in my blog that i posted a full article especially from a korean news portal but after reading this, i can't help but go to my blog and jot down my scattered thoughts regarding this raging....or waning?? korean fever.

first of all, these are all my personal opinion and i may be totally wrong in my views but i just want to share & let out some things that got stuck in my head since this hallyu thing got associated with BYJ.

ok....i'm glad that korea is getting a fair share of the limelight due to the korean wave which was partly triggered by bae yong joon. actually, my 'gladness' stems from my great admiration to this korean actor coz if not for him, i would probably have no idea what's happening in korea. but because of yong joon, i got interested in a number of things about korea though my interests lie mainly on anything and everything about bae yong joon.

the article stated that hallyu should not depend on the popularity of celebrities. that is correct. but i think a bigger part of hallyu is leaning rather heavily on the popularity of a few celebrities. the ripple effects of the popularities of BYJ, actress lee young ae, singers rain & boa, director park chan wook are bringing in the bucks but i'm not sure about the economic impact of the other kr celebrities. and these bucks happen to be one of the major contributors in the driving force behind hallyu.

it seems that a large number of korean artistes are of the goal to make it big outside korea. of course, that's where the bigger fame and fortune lies. an actor may be very popular in korea but if he or she won't make it beyond korea, it just seems lacking. actually, quite a number of new faces are sprouting all over courtesy of some popular dramas but will they be enough to add strength in sustaining the popularity of hallyu?

reading the english news reports from korean portals gives us an idea that korean media (of course, in coordination w/ the actors' talent mgt. company) is doing its best to spread the good news, so to speak. korean media plays a vital role in promoting the korean wave coz they are one of the major sources of info of overseas fans so its giving a lot of actors sufficient space to promote themselves and their projects probably with the hope that they will get more recognition and appreciation from overseas fans w/c in turn may translate into economic figures that would hopefully, further strengthen the korean wave.

on the other hand, it makes me wonder why some members of the korean media are not that friendly towards BYJ. this is a perennial topic amongst byj fans and we still don't have the answers. i won't be going into details about this issue but based on facts and figures, BYJ made a very substantial contribution in creating and sustaining to this day the korean wave and it just amazes me on the attitude of some members of the korean media towards BYJ on several occasions.....i can only shake my head.

with regards to this, i also came across some articles before (though i'm not sure how reliable the writers are) that hallyu actors are kind of getting the snub from korean public ?? not very sure on this but if this is true, this is very surprising!! oh yes, i remember before a report that said that one reason AS did not make it big in korea coz the audience are not into the 'korean fever' feel of the film. huh ??? ...or perhaps i read this in one of those articles in twitch, where we can find this particular fan-writer who just can't get enough of yong joon.. haha!!

btw, this may sound so naive but why do they call BYJ a hallyu actor? before this hallyu thing, BYJ is already a very popular figure in korea. yes, the korean wave may have invigorated his career but its not totally dependent on hallyu. it just happens that he got recognized & become immensely popular outside korea. if this is the case, does this mean that all korean actors who become popular outside korea are called hallyu or korean wave actors ? can they just call BYJ as 'famous korean actor'? or just 'korean actor'?

i think one way of helping maintain a positive & encouraging atmosphere, thus, may somehow help sustain the korean wave is the korean media giving full support to all korean actors, and that includes BYJ. i don't mean that we only want to read the nice news about BYJ but i hope they focus more on the positive side of things and veer away from negative reports that are negligible and not worth writing about. if they are dreaming big and aiming high, they should be more sensitive to the pulse of the public, particularly the paying public or those who are mainly responsible in keeping the temperature of the fever as high as ever. if some members of the media have a personal grudge on a particular production company or actor, can they just settle it behind the scene and not use reporting in the guise of 'journalism' to settle a score.

the writer of the above article probably got a glimpse of some of BYJ's interviews during the past few months where yong joon mentioned a number of times that he fully supports an Asian Wave and not just a korean wave. he had been implying that it is not healthy to have a one way cultural flow but he is encouraging that an asian cultural exchange should be strengthened thereby creating a healthier & stronger relationship among asian countries and who knows, this may create an Asian Fever all over the world !! actually, one thing i love and greatly admire about yong joon is that when he speaks of something, he takes definitive actions. oh yes, i think he's already paving the way for an Asian Wave.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

capturing byj

i'm probably one of the most artistically challenged gal this side of our geography. ask me to draw a car and all i can give you is a rectangle with two circles at the bottom !! yeah, drawing the basic symbols such as circles, squares & triangles are the most that i can do to express my artistic inclinations....if there's any at all *wink*

i've always been a great admirer of all BYJ fans who have this talent to create such lovely BYJ artworks. so everytime i see an artistic creation by any of my fellow BYJ fan, i'm just totally in awe. and who could blame them if they suddenly find themselves become so prolific by producing all these wonderful drawings/paintings/sketches....they got The Man as their inspiration :)

it just feels good looking at BYJ fans' artworks and i can just imagine how it feels if you are actually the one creating it...that would have been simply magical!! capturing yong joon through the camera lens is a once in a lifetime thrill but there is definitely something more personal when he is captured in a canvass, through the eyes of the besotted (!!) artist.

i recently discovered in the net a treasure of artworks by a japanese fan, Nagajun & she became one of my favorite talented baesis'. i posted several of nagajun's drawings in soompi and some in quilt and i'll be posting some of her drawings here. this is my first time to see yong joon interpreted this way & he looks cute (as always !) & a little different but he's undeniably our man ^^