Hallyu or the ‘Korean wave’ is swept through Singapore with full force this month as the country celebrated the ‘Korea Festival 2013‘! This year, A Pink and NU’EST were in center stage of this ultimate K-Pop and K-Culture three-day extravaganza.
Pumped with all things Korean under one roof, the 6th annual Korea Festival was held in conjunction with Vizit Korea, and ran this year from October 25th through the 27th, at the Singapore Expo. It included food, travel, movie screenings, K-Pop and traditional Korean performances –you name it!
Serving as K-ambassadors are the adorable ladies of A Pink and the handsome electro boy group NU’EST, bringing with them a 90 minute concert each, followed by a meet-and-greet session. A Pink embraced the crowd with their “Secret Garden in Singapore” concert on October 25th, while NU’EST rocked the stage with “NU’EST in Singapore with LOVE” on October 26th, leaving Pink Pandas and L.O.Λ.Es in for a treat!
Also in town was actress Lee Chae Young, who recently starred as ‘Ran’ in the flower-boy movie ‘Secretly, Greatly’ opposite main leads Park Ki Woong, Kim Soo Hyun and Lee Seung Woo, as well as veteran actor Sung Dong-il, who currently appears on the reality variety show ‘Dad, Where Are We Going?’ with his son, Sung Joon. Aside from the meet-and-greet with actress Lee Chae Young, the final addition to the line-up added just days prior the festival was A-JAX, who performed on October 27th!
Kick-starting the exciting festival was an official press conference and opening ceremony attended by A Pink, NU’EST, actress Lee Chae Young, actor Song Don-il as well as representatives from the organizers.
Dressed in lovely pink polka-dot outfits, A Pink members Cho-rong, Bomi, Eun-ji, Na-eun, Nam-joo and Ha-young greeted the crowd cheerfully, “Thank you so much for inviting us to this memorable event, and thank you so much everyone for being here! We hope you learn more about Korean culture and K-Pop today!”
As for the boys from NU’EST, they gave an energetic greeting with “Showtime, NU’EST time, Annyeong Haseyo!” Members JR, Aron, Baekho, Minhyun and Ren said, “We are excited to have you guys with us today. It is a great honour for us to be here. Hope you guys have fun learning more about the Korean culture, food and people, and enjoy yourselves. Please love K-Pop and NU’EST!”
So, what would the idol ambassadors introduce to visitors in Korea?
In fluent English, Aron said “If you like shopping, you can try Dongdaemun. They have a lot of clothes there, and it is not that expensive. And you should also try out Korean food like kimbap and ddeokkbokki. So, if you have the time, I would highly suggest you to visit Korea and have fun.” And perhaps even see Aron!
A Pink, on the other hand, would recommend Jeju-do (Jeju island) as the spot not to be missed. As Nam-joo puts it, “The scenery there is beautiful. There is a nice beach – so you can do healing over there!”
Since, our beloved idols go onto a lot of variety shows, and many also went on to become great hosts, KMUSIC asked which member has the best variety skills among their group.
Bomi took the crown for A Pink, as Na-eun explained that Bomi’s charisma probably lies in her honesty and truthfulness. As for NU’EST, members collectively agreed on maknae, Ren. Aron said, “Ren’s personality really comes out when he is on shows.” Judging from the resounding cheers, the fans probably agreed as well!
And if you are wondering whether you share the same favourite track as NU’EST from their latest mini-album “Sleep Talking“– here’s your answers! Ren prefers “Don’t Wear Revealing Clothes” -not because of anything else but simply because of the great melody and lyrics. Minhyun loves “I Will Love You More” a little more than the other tracks, while both Aron and Baekho chose “Beautiful Ghost.” And for leader JR, his personal favourite is “Pretty” – “We have decided to introduce this new song to Singapore and will be performing it here for the first time at the Korea Festival, do look out for this song tomorrow!”
A Pink was then quizzed if they would consider trying out a sexy concept like label mates 4Minute and G.Na. Eun-ji said, “We respect singers who have a sexy concept, but at the moment, we love our cute concept and want to keep it,” eliciting another wave of cheers. It seems that A Pink’s cute concept definitely sits well with fans right now.
Shifting the focus to Lee Chae Young, the beautiful actress was asked if she prefers modeling or acting. Smiling, Chae Young said, “I enjoy both modeling and acting. Nevertheless, I really want to become a better actress, and thus I would choose acting now.”
Visiting Singapore for the first time with his family, veteran actor Sung Dong-il shared his thoughts on the best and the worst of being on the reality variety “Dad, Where Are We Going?” with his son. Laughing, he said, “The best part is being able to spend time with my son, and the worst part…I think he is becoming a little spoilt?” whilst looking at the 6 year-old sitting in the audience with the rest of his family.
What followed was a series of great shows at the opening ceremony – including the vocal performance from Little Angels (Children’s folk ballet of Korea), where the girls also prepared a famous Singapore local tune “Chan Mali Chan” that melted the crowd, as well as an adrenaline-pumping Taekwondo demonstration.
Capping off the opening ceremony was a fantastic stage by NU’EST of their latest title track “Sleep Talking,” as a teaser preview for their showcase the next day before A Pink took the stage!
“Korea Festival 2013 – Vizit Korea” is proudly organized by MediaCorp VizPro International and Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Singapore and co-organized by CS Company and Korea Tourism Organisation.
Officially KMUSIC would like to thank the organizers for the invitation!
Photos by: Hidayah Hamdan
Article by: Kathryn Zhang, Dee
Edited by: Mariam
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