K-pop Showcase Held in Shanghai

Nov 6, 2006

A showcase of Korean pop music entitled “Feel the K-POP in Shanghai” was held in Shanghai, China on November 4. The event was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Korea Culture & Content Agency, various Chinese entertainment companies and the Korean entertainment agency Orange Shock.

It was the first time 12 Korean groups and artists performed together in China. They included Jun Jin, Lee Min-woo, Tony Ahn, SG Wannabe, Hwi-sung, Fly to the Sky, Typhoon, V.O.S., Kim Hyun-chul, Kang Kyun-sung and others.

Jun Jin performed in the opening of the show, making his debut as a solo artist, while Lee Min-woo performed in the finale. Jun Jin sang “Love Not Coming,” the title song of his first single album released in Korea, and “Come Back Ruff.” Lee, for his part, enraptured the audience with his powerful dance moves.

Tony Ahn, a former member of the boy band H.O.T., also enjoyed enormous popularity. His fans shouted out his real name, Ahn Seung-ho, and called him CEO Ahn (the singer runs talent management agency TN Entertainment). Ahn says he was happy to participate in music exchanges that transcend national borders and says he wants to give a concert in Shanghai.

SG Wannabe, Hwi-sung, Seeya, Ha Dong-kyun, V.O.S., Kang Kyun-sung and Typhoon visited China for the first time. Hwi-sung impressed the Chinese audience with his fluent Chinese-speaking skills that he acquired after three months of training. He even taught the audience the Chinese title of his hit song “Can You Permit?” making the audience sing along with him.

A twenty-something fan of Tony Ahn said she has many albums from H.O.T., TVXQ and other Korean artists, and was learning Korean by watching Korean entertainment shows.

A fan of Shinwha’s said Jun Jin was her favorite and that she attended the band’s concert in Shanghai back in July. “I’m so happy to have seen his debut performance. I’ve even bought binoculars to see him,” she said.

A person who came to provide Chinese-to-Korean translation services at the event said he was surprised to see so many Chinese fans speak Korean fluently and added that many Korean-language tutoring institutes have opened on the popularity of Korean culture.

The artists, however, had difficulty communicating with the audience onstage because no interpreter was on hand. Chinese subtitles of song lyrics were provided only for several songs, and the guards failed to block fans on the first floor from approaching the stage.

The event was held free of charge but some tickets were illegally sold for more than 100,000 won per ticket by some 200 swindlers who created a commotion and hampered hundreds of fans from entering the venue of the show.

An official from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said many seats remained vacant because of the swindlers and the illegally sold tickets. He also called on the Chinese government to take measures and pledged efforts to account for such events in budget planning given the significant effect of music exchanges between Korea and China.

An official from the Korea Culture & Content Agency said the event was meaningful in introducing up-and-coming Korean artists to Chinese audiences and pledged efforts to improve on the shortcomings of this year’s event, such as the lack of interpretation services. He also vowed to provide Chinese-language courses to Korean artists so that they can better bond with Chinese fans.

The event, which was attended by some 5,000 fans, will be broadcast by a Shanghai TV station.

Source: KBS Global