[article] Asia’s ‘Pretty Man’, Jang Keun Suk’s Never Ending Story_20140217

Original source: http://media.daum.net/entertain/star/newsview?newsid=20140217203305126
Credits: The Eels Family Official Bulletin
Translation Korean to English: SungYee, Lu Lee (The Eels Family)
Additional Translation: rainygirl06 (The Eels Family)
Editing: thenatcat, Lu Lee (The Eels Family)

TEF Note: For most proper names and titles, we included the hangul as well, particularly when the English version of the title was not a direct translation. Also, the photos were re-arranged since in the original article they were not placed with the corresponding text.

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‘Neo Hallyu’, ‘Asia’s Star’, ‘Asia Prince’ etc.. are some of the countless qualifiers made as he became the dynamic Hallyu star Jang Keun Suk.

Although he is not Japanese, his debut single as a foreign artist remarkably topped the Oricon Daily Chart on its release day, breaking a 30 year record for both Japanese and foreign male solo artists, which was set by Japanese singer Masahiko Kondō [近藤 真彦] in December of 1980.

In Korea, he is only known as an actor even though he is equally talented as other singers. Nonetheless, in 2011, Jang Keun Suk changed the history of Japan’s Oricon Chart with the debut of his single “Let Me Cry.”

Traversing the world, Jang Keun Suk gave many concerts. In 2010, the ‘Asia Tour’ and the ‘Japan Nationwide Tour.’ In 2011, ‘Asia Tour ~ Cri-Show,’ ‘Arena Tour,’ ‘Cri-Show at Tokyo Dome’ and the ‘Cri Show 2.’ In 2013, ‘Jang Keun Suk Dinner Show.’
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In addition to ballad songs, he has expanded into DJ parties, as well as independent productions. With his musician friend, Big Brother, and their produced Team H, he staged exciting 3 hour electronic performances. On August 2013, in celebration of his birthday, he produced in Osaka, Japan, a large scale expo (ZIKZIN FESTIVAL) showcasing booths centered on himself.

Bouncing ideas never presented before, Jang Keun Suk is creating a new culture and, without doubt, demonstrating his true artistic character. Such traits endlessly fascinate Jang Keun Suk’s Asia fans.

Traveling back and forth between Korea and Asia, Jang Keun Suk is promoting his dazzling activities as a Hallyu star. What greater charisma would this man, who is shaping a new Hallyu culture in our times, still hide? Let’s uncover Jang Keun Suk’s story since his childhood to the time he became ‘Asia Prince.’

‘Asia’s Top Hallyu Star’, Jang Keun Suk’s Life Filmography

As a child actor with charming looks and talent since an early age, it seemed as if Jang Keun Suk would tread a smooth path. However, to reach this place where he could grow into today’s Hallyu star, there were many painful maturing experiences.
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Born as an only child into a wealthy family, Jang Keun Suk grew up without privations. However, when he turned twelve, as his father’s business failed the hardships in his life also began.

After the family circumstances worsened and they relocated to Seoul, he wholeheartedly started his acting career and starred in the KBS children’s drama ‘Commi, the Fairy’ ‘[요정 컴미] and on the SBS drama ‘Ladies Of the Palace/ Women’s World’ [여인천하] making his name as a child actor. And despite his friends’ teasing for his underwear modeling in his youth, through this job he was able to pay the full year lease for his struggling family.

During his time in middle school in New Zealand, to make ends meet, he coped with the many discomforts of living in an old house. However, Jang Keun Suk counts such study-abroad experiences as one of “the happiest times in his life.” For him, these financially challenging school days and the difficult life circumstances shaped him into the passionate and grateful actor he is.

[1997-1999]
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HBS Hyundai Channel drama ‘Happiness for Sale’[행복을 팝니다] – Soo Dong [수동] role
In 1997, the eleven year old Jang Keun Suk was first cast on the HBC Cable Channel drama ‘Happiness for Sale.’ It was a story about the happenings of the Bong family who lived by the farmer marketplaces on the outskirts of Seoul.

Jang Keun Suk had no especial role. However, he first became known to the small screen audience when he was cast as Soo Dong, the late child of Jin Man Bong (Kim Gi Seop), the president of the marketplace cooperative, and his wife (Sun Woo Young), the manager of a linen shop who vaguely dreams of becoming a female novelist.

SBS drama ‘Hugs’ [포옹], ‘Meeting’ [만남], KBS drama ‘Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes’ [누룽지 선생과 감자 일곱 개].
In 1999, he was cast as Won Ju [포옹] in the SBS drama ‘Hugs,’ as Ji Won [지원] in ‘Meeting,’ and as Yoon Sung [윤성] in the KBS drama ‘Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes.’ Although at the time, he did not receive any significant roles as a beginner child actor, he was in the process of firmly setting down his performance foundations and acting skills.

‘Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes’ was a children’s drama. Set somewhere in the Gang Wo Province and against beautiful nature backgrounds; it followed the story of a country teacher with a school of seven students and of those living in the small village.

In this project, Jang Keun Suk was cast next to the same age child actress Moon Geun Young, whom he would meet again in the drama ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night/Marry Me Mary’ [매리는 외박중]. At the time, however, no one suspected what a fated moment this could be as these two actors would someday become top Hallyu stars.

[2001]
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KBS children’s drama ‘Cummi, the Fairy’ [요정컴미] – Oh Myun Suk [오명석] role
In 2001, the children’s drama ‘Cummi, the Fairy 요정컴미’ broadcast on KBS and was a hit drama. He was the oldest son of the Oh Myung Tae family that took care of the lead role, the Fairy Cummi. With a fun script the drama became very popular and through this drama people were able to remember Jang Keun Suk as a child.

MBC drama ‘Four Sisters’ Story’ [네 자매 이야기] – Young Hoon [영훈] role
Next, Jang Keun Suk got a role as Young Hoon [영훈] on the MBC drama ‘Four Sisters’ Story.’ The grandson of the Pyung Yang family [평양댁], he goes with his mother to Jung’s house for a temporary sojourn but ends up extending his stay. While living in a house of four women, his character learns about love and friendship.

SBS drama ‘Ladies of the Palace/Women’s World’ [여인천하] – Jung Ryung [정령] role
Originally planned as a 50 episode project, it was extended to 100 episodes, making this SBS production into the longest running domestic drama. But even within this major historical success, Jang Keun Suk’s performance is still veiled though he delivered a refreshing and child-like performance in his portrayal of Jung Ryung.

SBS drama, teen show ‘Orange’ [오렌지] – Jang Keun Suk as himself
In 2002, he was cast as Ji Hoon in the EBS drama ‘Ten Lucks in My Life’ [내 인생의 럭키텐], while for the SBS teen show drama ‘Orange’ he appeared under his own name Jang Keun Suk. In this hit sitcom popular with the younger crowds of the time, he acted as himself portraying the self-absorbed yet sensitive youth characteristic of his generation. He also depicted the playboy type always surrounded by girls but lacking substance.

SBS drama ‘The Great Ambition’ [대망] – Park Shi Young [박시영] role
Another project was the SBS drama ‘The Great Ambition’ where Jang Keun Suk played the young Park Shi Young. Set against the Joseon Era, it is an historical action based on a man’s ambition and love. As the first domestic drama filmed in HD video and backed by producer Kim Jong Hak [김종학] and writer Song Ji Na [송지나], it attracted much interest. And through this project, Jang Keun Suk became once again known to the public and was able to establish himself as an actor.

[2003-2005]
KBS Drama City ‘Owl Museum’ [부엉이박물관] – Jung Woo [정우] role, musicals ‘Theseus’ [테세우스] and ‘Hercules’ [헤라클래스]
In 2003, Jang Keun Suk was cast as Jung Woo [정우] in the KBS city drama ‘The Owl Museum.’ For a period after his study-abroad in New Zealand, the lack of projects had left him feeling fairly anxious. However, through the drama and the musicals ‘Theseus’ and ‘Hercules,’ Jang Keun Suk was able to regroup his acting and experienced the pleasure of performing on stage.

MBC Teen Sitcom ‘Non stop 4′ [논스톱4] – Jang Keun Suk as himself
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Afterwards, Jang Keun Suk experienced the first turning point of his acting career with this widely broadcast and popular program. In this teen sitcom, Jang Keun Suk depicted a typical fashion trendy youth, a ‘playboyish’ medical student coming of age. He was cast alongside Yoon Jong Shin [윤종신], Bong Tae Gyu [봉태규], Han Ye Sul [한예슬], Hyun Bin [현빈], Lee Young Eun [이영은], Lee Yun Ji [이윤지], and Andy [앤디]. In this program with its impressive actor list, Jang Keun showed his own refreshing and distinctive personality readily winning a spot in the hearts of young Korean women.

SBS drama ‘Lovers in Prague’ [프라하의 연인] – Yoon Gun Hee [윤건희] role
In the SBS drama ‘Lovers in Prague,’ Jang Keun Suk portrayed the president’s son and Yoon Jae Hee’s [윤재희] (played by Jun Do Yun 전도연) younger brother who was twelve years her junior. This role showed an immature high school student who got into all sorts of trouble in order to draw his father’s attention.

[2006]
Tooniverse drama ‘Alien Sam/Alien Teacher’ [에일리언 샘] – Bong Saem [봉샘] (Luxurious Prince) role
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When Jang Keun Suk turned twenty years old in 2006, he joined Tooniverse Channel in a drama called ‘Alien Sam.’ He was the teacher for the first class of fifth graders in Haeng Bok [행복] (or Happy) Elementary School. He was cast as an alien prince from a planet called Alexandro, who came to Earth to escape an uprising. So instead of a perfect Korean teacher, the role portrayed a slightly inadequate instructor. And even though his alien name was ‘Luxurious,’ on Earth he was a flower boy named Bong Saem, a teacher with a strikingly handsome face. (Note: Bong is a very country name).

Yu Seung Ho [유승호], Song Eun Yee Song[송은이], Kim Nul Mae [김늘메], and Park Sul Gi [박슬기] were also part of this children drama that was filmed at a school in a child-friendly approach. And its script narrates the fumbles and adventures of an alien teacher from a distant star and his earthling students.

Movie ‘ChakShinAri: Final /One Missed Call: Final’ [着信アリ3] – Ahn Jin Woo [안진우] role
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Afterwards, Jang Keun Suk started to expand his activities onto the big screen. In Asou Manabu’s [麻生学] film ‘ChakShinAri: Final /One Missed Call: Final,’ Jang Keun Suk’s character Jin Woo boldly attempts to block the schoolgirl Matsuda, who is sending death threat emails to her bullying classmates on a school trip to Busan.

This first movie ‘ChakShinAri: Final /One Missed Call: Final’ was not a box office hit but it offered Jang Keun Suk another opportunity to further develop his skills as an actor. As a project done in collaboration with a Japanese director and actors, it would also become the stepping stone of his growth into the ‘Asia Prince’ someday.

KBS drama ‘HwangJin-I’ [황진이] – Kim Eun Ho [김은호] role
KBS drama ‘Hwang Jin-I’ brought another significant moment in Jang Keun Suk’s acting career. He was cast as the hero Kim Eun Ho, who in his quest to realize his tender love for Hwang Jin-I, would surrender his nobility as well as his own life.

In this drama, he showed his ability to move the audience to tears, to convey passion, and to express sadness. And through his success in this melodramatic role, Jang Keun Suk joined the ranks of adult performers.
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Even after the drama ended, Jang Keun Suk remained deeply attached to this project among all others. He once revealed in an interview “Even though I wanted to act, the circumstances that held me back remained. After ‘Hwang Jin-I,’ I feel I have found the courage to continue my work as an actor.”

[2007]
Movie ‘The Happy Life’ [행복한 인생] – Park Hyun Jun [박현준] role
The director Lee Jun Ik [이준익] who was very famous from ‘King and the Clown’ (The King’s Man) [왕의 남자] and ‘Radio Star’ [라디오 스타], gave Jang Keun Suk his own color and character for this film. He was a little selfish but very handsome, very smart and also a very realistic person who had lots of charms.

In the movie he acted as Park Hyun Jun, who was the son of the main vocalist in HwalHwahSan [활화산], a group that had failed three years in a row to win the national university singing competition twenty years ago. He decided to regain his father’s honor by standing where his dad had been as the main vocalist, and the rock band became very famous.
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Since he had to act as a main vocalist, Jang Keun Suk practiced vocals and guitar every day for over seven hours to perfect his role.

[2008]
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Movie ‘The Longest 24 Months’ [기다리다 미쳐] – Park Won Jae [박원재] role
In this movie there were four couples and all four of the men had to be in the army. The movie was about how these four couples had to try to keep their relationships going during their service years. Jang Keun Suk had a girlfriend who was six years older, Kim Hyo Jung [김효정], and they were trying to untangle their difficult situation and stay together.

Movie ‘DoReMiFaSolLaTiDo’ [도레미파솔라시도] – Shin Eun Gyu role
Jang Keun Suk has a similar look to that of the main characters in romantic comic books, so that’s why he gets cast in scripts that are based on comic books. This fiction book’s title is GweYuNi [귀여니] and Kang Gun Hyang [강건향] directed the movie. Jang Keun Suk was the main character in the movie who had a charming voice and a very gentle personality. He was the lead vocalist in a band. He acted with Cha Ye Ryun [차예련] and in the film they meet at an amusement park where she was is working part time wearing a funny dragon costume. The story was about how they met and what happens between them as they build up their love for each other.

Movie ‘Baby and I’ [아기와 나] – Han Joon Soo [한준수] role
After that, Jang Keun Suk acted in another movie that was based on a comic book, ‘Baby and I’. Jang Keun Suk played a student who was a huge trouble maker in high school. His parents decide to go away and leave him with 100,000 won (about $100) and he ends up with a six month old baby Woo Ram [우람]. Jang Keun Suk’s acting was great, he was very bright and cheerful with Woo Ram who kept crying because he only drank breast milk and refused to have formula.

KBS drama ‘Hong Gil Dong’ [쾌도 홍길동] – Lee Chang Hwee [창휘] role
In KBS’ Wed/Thu drama ‘Hong Gil Dong’, Jang Keun Suk played Lee Chang Hwee, the only enemy of the King. When Choi Suk Bin’s [최숙빈] son Gwang Hui [광휘], who played Chang Hwee’s older brother, became king he tried to murder Chang Hwee at age seven. But his mother who was the queen, sacrificed herself to save him from getting burned in the flames of a fire. In the drama, he was preparing for revenge.
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In HwangJin-I Jang Keun Suk made people’s hearts beat faster as he acted as the pure spirited youngster Eun Hoe, and in ‘Hong Gil Dong’ they watched him transform into a charismatic actor and as a result both roles were a big hit. In the drama, he was going to be the king (leader) that everyone loved and followed, so he gained authority to reach the top, but in the end he failed and cried hopelessly during the drama.

On the other hand, he had a pure love for Lee Nok [이녹] (played by Sung YuRi [성유리]) who was in love with Gil Dong (played by Kang Ji Hwan [강지환]), and had a hard time getting over it.

MBC drama ‘Beethoven Virus’ [베이토벤 바이러스] – Kang Gun Woo [강건우] role
He acted with Kim Myung Min [김영민], Lee Ji Ah [이지아], and Lee Soon Jae [이순재]. Jang Keun Suk acted with a very strong personality, but he also had a sensitive and artistic, emotional side that manifested itself as an honest and straight forward expression to people. He was a trumpet player and a composer in the drama. It was also another turning point in his life as an actor.

In this drama, Kang Gun Woo wasn’t aware of his musical gifts for twenty-five years, but thanks to a crane he discovers his genius as a musician and then he joins an orchestra. He never had any formal training in music, but the crane taught him how to read musical notes and they become soul mates.
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In the movie ‘The Happy Life’, he had acted as the main vocalist and guitarist and showed his passion towards music. This time, Jang Keun Suk took composition and trumpeting lessons and once again challenged himself to jump over his limits. Through this work he received good compliments, for example, that the small Kang Gun Woo could only be acted by Jang Keun Suk and no other person. At the time, that was the top news. This was a good opportunity to prove his acting to everyone and show that he was a truly gifted actor.

[2009]
Movie ‘The Case of Itaewon Homicide’ [이태원 살인사건] – Robert J. Pearson [로버트 J 피어슨] role
This crime movie was directed by Hing Gi Sun [홍기선] and was based on a murder that happened in April of 1997 at a hamburger restaurant. The film was about two Korean-American teenagers each blaming each other over the murder of a college student, with a very suspenseful story about discovering the truth between the two of them.

As the only one who was at the murder scene when Cho Joong Pil [조중필], who attended Hongik University, received nine stab wounds in his chest and neck, Jang Keun Suk’s character Pearson was pointed out as the prime suspect.
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He acted in the movie like a very pure spirit, but also with a smile that had something to hide behind it and an aggressive expression. He made the viewers puzzled and curious about the truth. He did a great job playing a psychopath and showed a different side of Jang Keun Suk that no one had seen yet.

SBS drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ [미남이시네요] – Hwang Tae Gyung [황태경] role
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In this drama, Jang Keun Suk acted as the leader of the most famous group A.N. Jell. He had the perfect looks and a genius gift for songwriting, but he was abandoned by his mom when he was young and this traumatized him, so he had a very sensitive and weak emotional side. He seemed very perfect and very selfish, but behind all of this he was a bit of a trouble maker and had a cute immature side too. He was living a perfect life until a girl disguised as a boy named Ko Mi Nam [고미남] came and disturbed his life. However, in the end those two fell in love to with each other. After it aired in Korea, it was also aired all over Asia. In China, it was not on an internet cable channel but on a national TV channel, CCTV8. This drama aired two episodes every night, and in China this was the first time this had happened.
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After it was broadcast, Jang Keun Suk got over 10,000,000 followers on a Chinese version of Twitter called Weibo. He opened the account in 2011 and after he started it, he added 1,000,000 followers every three months. Now he has the most followers among Korean celebrities.

He also was on a reality show on Hunan Cable TV [호남위성] named Happy Camp-Jang Keun Suk special [쾌락대본영-장근석 특집], where he received the most viewers compared to other shows in the same broadcast time. Also, he was the only Korean celebrity that had been cast for a Christmas special show, where only the top China celebrities are cast.

[2010]
KBS drama ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night/Marry Me Mary’ [매리는 외박 중] – Kang Moo Gyul [강무결] role
In 2010, Jang Keun Suk challenged himself to do a drama again. In the drama, he had a trauma about marriage because of his mom, so he didn’t want to get married and instead wanted to live only making music. However, he met a girl named Wi Mae-ri [위매리] and had to fake a marriage to her for 100 days.
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During the drama, he expressed a lonely guy very well. In his voice and eye contact with the camera, we could hear and see Jang Keun Suk’s sorrow. Experts evaluated his role and said that he acted perfectly and that he also flawlessly showed a transformation from a lonely person to a very heart warming person.

The percentage of viewers were fewer compared to the level of casting, but during the drama he showed his taste for fashion and people started to focus on this. His hippie style look made him a fashion icon.

[2011]
Movie ‘You’re My Pet’ [너는 펫] – Kang In Ho [강인호] role
If you are a woman then you would have wanted to have the main female role in this movie. Roommates and living together.. people were thinking and imagining romantic thoughts. Jang Keun Suk was Ji Eun’s [지은] (played byKim Ha Nul 김하늘) pet and gave over all authority to her.
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This movie was based on a Japanese comic book, and Jang Keun Suk’s golden blond permed hair and his cherished personality were big issues when he acted as the pet ‘MoMo’ [모모].

A Japanese drama expert Jun Matsumoto [松本 潤] said MoMo was not just a cute pet. Jang Keun Suk was not only good looking like MoMo, but he also didn’t make the age difference too awkward. He acted like he was in a real older woman and younger man relationship and made us feel the chemistry all throughout the movie.

[2012]
KBS drama ‘Love Rain’ [사랑비] – 70’s Seo In Ha [서인하], 2012 Seo Joon [서준] role
Jang Keun Suk acted as both a 70’s character as Seo In Ha, an art major college student, and a 2012 photographer, Seo Joon. Love rain was director Yun Suk Hoe’s [윤석호] comeback drama and Jang Keun Suk acted with another Hallyu star Yoona and created a big hit in Asia.
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Jang Keun Suk perfectly portrayed two roles in one drama. Seo Joon had the opposite personality of his dad In Ha, who had a smooth smile and was a very friendly family guy. Seo Joon was a very straight and selfish guy who didn’t think of anyone’s feelings. Because of his dad he didn’t believe in love, however, one day he realized he was in love with his dad’s first love’s daughter.

He couldn’t give up his love with Ha Na and he also showed the sorrow between him and his father. He made the viewers cry when he cried. Also, his conflicting emotions with his father and the chemistry among the actors was highly rated by the viewers.

Unlike what had been expected, the viewing rate was only 5% (AGB Nielsen Media research). However, even before it was on air, Japan bought the drama and broke a record. For one episode it was sold at 400,050,000 won ($400,000 per episode) and a total of 9,000,000,000 won was made from only this drama.

In addition, China and Taipei and other Asian countries and also America for a total of twelve countries, bought this drama to be aired. Through commercials they earned 600,000,000 won ($600,000). So the total that this drama earned was over 5,000,000,000 won. Compared to the viewer rate, it was multiplied by 1,000,000,000.

In Japan, it was a twenty episode drama and also came out as a movie too. In the movie, they picked the highlights from the drama, edited them, and showed the final composition on screen. In Japan on the Fuji TV channel, it scored the most viewers among the shows in Japan. It was a very big hit in Japan.
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[2013]
KBS drama ‘Beautiful Man’ [예쁜남자] – Dokgo Ma-Te [독고마테] role
In 2013, Jang Keun Suk acted with IU [아이유] in a drama based on a comic book that Chun Gye Young [천계영] wrote. In the press conference for the drama, he said that he wants to get back the title of ‘The Actor Jang Keun Suk’ and announced how much he was ready for this drama.

However, the drama didn’t meet its expectation when it came out. He met ten successful ladies and showed his eight charming sides, however at the same time there was a huge drama being aired, The Heirs, so they couldn’t get a high rating of viewers.
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He acted as a handsome pretty boy but with a sharp personality, however, people say there was no difference since Beethoven Virus. People said that always picking the same character and having no difference with the previous dramas were the weak points of this drama.

However, just like ‘Love Rain’ and ‘You’re Beautiful’, it wasn’t a big hit in Korea but it was a huge hit again in other Asian countries. They had calls from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines saying that they wanted to air the drama in their countries.
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‘Beautiful Man’ had a significant meaning to him. He has had big success being a singer and performer however, he said “I started as an actor and want to live as an actor” and through this drama it was the intermediary that he needed.

Jang Keun Suk’s ‘ZikZin Radio’

Jang Keun Suk started ZikZin Radio, a program that he produces himself, as a podcast radio show. He wanted to communicate with the whole world. Through his experience being the MC on K-pop shows [가요 프로그램] and reality shows [쇼프로그램], he is showing his MC skills and his smooth words that prove that his potential is infinite.

ZikZin radio is made up 100% of Jang Keun Suk’s ideas. He picks one subject and then the fans send their stories and he gets to share their stories. There are lots of listeners and now the downloads are over 500,000. It is now in 1st place for Japanese artistic themed podcasts.
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Jang Keun Suk was sometimes too pure and said too much of the truth via SNS and he got into trouble a few times when people misunderstood his meaning. However, through ZikZin Radio he was able to show the bubbly, cute, and immature side of himself, which helped people understand more about his personality. Instead of texting, he was using the analog way to show his emotions. Also, being able to examine himself personally is a good advantage for him with the radio.

Albums that made Jang Keun Suk into ‘Asia Prince’

2004 ‘Non stop4’’s OST Album ’Sky High’, ‘Let’s Get Down’
These songs were only made for the comedy drama NonStop4. There were twelve songs on the album. With their busy schedule for acting, singing practice and recording, making this album was like putting the cherry on top, ending everyone’s eight months of hard work together.

2007 ‘The Happy Life’ [즐거운 인생] OST Single Album – ‘The Happy Life’ [즐거운 인생], It Will Explode [터질거야]
The band consisted of three men in their 40’s who were tired of the same routine everyday (Jung Jin Young [정진영], Kim Yun Suk [김윤석], Kim Sang Ho [김상호]) along with the main vocalist who was at the most beautiful age, 20 years old. He sang songs just like a burning mountain that gave passion to people to find hope in life. The songs fit perfectly with the realistic 40 year olds and made them think of the old days of their youth.
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2008 ‘Black Engine’ Single Album
In 2008 the guy with the most potential Jang Keun Suk, and the guy that was a hit record maker JYP (Park Jin Young [박진영]) teamed up and made Black Engine, the expectations went higher than the curiosity. At that point, the two trendiest icons had met and combined both of their advantages to make a very unique genre.

2008 ‘Beethoven Virus’ OST Single Album – ‘Can You Hear Me Part 2′ [들리나요]
In this album, Kang Gun Woo is singing his love to Du Ru Mi who is deaf. Jang Keun Suk’s charming low voice fit perfectly with the song and this was a huge present for his fans too.

2009 ‘Touch Holic – Yepptic and Haptic Love’ [터치홀릭-옙틱 & 햅틱 러브]
This album used the newest technology which is Autotune and made his voice even more luxurious and charming. Jang Keun Suk is a leader who will show the feelings of young adults, people say it is the most Jang Keun Suk-like song that had been made.

2009 Single ‘Just Drag’
This album melted the fashion icon into a musician. It used techno and house electronica sounds and mixed it with hiphop.
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2009 ‘You’re Beautiful’ OST Album’ [미남이시네요] – ‘Still as Ever’ [여전히], ‘Promise’ [약속]
Jang Keun Suk who had already worked with movie soundtrack, drama, and also commercial music, worked with FT island’s Lee Hong Gi [이홍기], Indie Band member Jung Young Hwa [정용화], and actress Park Shin Hye [박신혜]. They had good teamwork just like a real band and recorded the OST together.

2009 ‘You’re Beautiful’ OST Special Single Album’ [미남이시네요] – ‘What Should I Do?’ [어떻하죠]
During the drama Jang Keun Suk showed his acting and also his top star quality and proved that he had both. The fans asked for the songs so they made ‘What Should I Do?’ into a digital album. It’s a song he sang in the drama showing his deep and desperate love to Ko Mi Nam [고미남].

2010 ‘Dreams, Giving Them Wings’ [꿈, 날개를 달다]
He worked with the city of Seoul’s government for a charity project. He teamed up with Kim Hyun Chul [김현철] and sang a medium tempo rock ballad song and all the proceeds from the song went to low income children.

2010 Digital Single ‘Magic Drag’
Jang Keun Suk and the main vocalist of Sista Hyo Rin [효린] teamed up and sang a ‘Yepp Song’ [옙송] together and showed another upgraded level of music.

2010 ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night/Marry Me Mary’ OST [매리는 외박 중] – ‘My bus!’ [부탁해], ‘My precious’
He sang with Han Seoung Yun [한승연] who is in Kara but the focus was on Jang Keun Suk when selling the albums.

2011 ‘You’re My Pet’ OST [너는 펫] – ‘Oh my lady’ [너만 보여], ‘Mandy’
For the movie, ‘You’re My Pet’s’ OST Jang Keun Suk did the title track ‘Oh My Lady.’ He gave a major contribution to the production process of ‘Oh My Lady’ and ‘Mandy’.

2011 Japanese Single ‘Let me Cry’
As a hallyu star, Jang Keun Suk had his debut in Japan with this single and in the first week he was #1 at the top of the Oricon chart, which broke the record that had been held for the past thirty years.

2011 ‘You’re Beautiful’ OST [미남이시네요] (Jang Keun Suk special)
‘What Should I Do?’ [어떡하죠], Goodbye, ‘Without a Word’ [말도없이]…. These are the songs that Jang Keun Suk sang and they were made into a Jang Keun Suk special album.

2012 ‘Love rain’ [사랑비] OST
In 2012, this was the biggest hit KBS drama for Mon & Tue night mini series. This album was made with Jang Keun Suk’s unique voice and beautiful melody.

2014 ‘Beautiful Man’ [예쁜남자] OST
Jang Keun Suk and idol singer IU [아이유] acted together and that made everyone focus on this drama. His sweet voice sang Beautiful Day on this album.

Touring concerts to meet Asia’s fans in person
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Jang Keun Suk’s fame didn’t stop in Korea, it went overseas to Japan. In February of 2008, he did his very first fan meeting in Japan. Through Beethoven Virus he achieved fame and created a huge fandom in Japan. At that point he got a nick name Geun-Chan [근짱]. To show his thankfulness and to give love back to his fans he did his second fan meeting in Japan on Nov 29th and 30th in Osaka and Tokyo, respectively.

On Dec 17th he did a ‘Beethoven Virus’ airing day anniversary fan meeting and on Feb 7th~8th of 2009, he held an overnight camp with his fans in Japan and his fame didn’t stop and just kept going higher.

In May of 2010, he started to reach out to Taiwan, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hong Kong and he went on tour. This was a six month tour and this was the opportunity that made Jang Keun Suk ‘Asia’s Big Star’. The Asian tour ended with a huge finale on September 5th, 2010.

After the tour he did a ‘You’re Beautiful’ [미남이시네요] promotional stage in Japan and Taipei and in November he did a Japan National Tour starting at Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Kobe, and Yokohama, meeting his fans all over Japan.

In February of 2001, he did a concert named ‘Lounge H’. Then he produced his own show naming it ‘CRI SHOW’. In just Japan, there were 110,000 fans who were at the show. At ‘CRI SHOW’ his fame spread out even faster and from there the fandom spread all over Asia. Starting in Singapore, it went to Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Taipei , Shanghai and then into Seoul.

‘2011 Jang Keun Suk Arena tour the CRI SHOW in Japan – ALWAYS CLOSE TO YOU’
He did a ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night’ [매리는 외박 중] promotional concert and after that he held an arena tour and showed his fans the ‘Prince that lives in a fairy tale’ concept. 60,000 fans attended this concert and this turned him into the ‘Asia Prince’.

On Oct. 20th, he did a Nagoya concert and then on the 22nd~23rd an Osaka concert, and on the 25th~26th, a Tokyo concert. He did five concerts in three different cities. For this concert, he designed the stage, music, costumes, and video clips all by himself. He was also involved with all of the producing and directing. For every concert he showed the best that he could and made his fans who were waiting for Geun-Chan very satisfied.
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Then, in November of 2011 with the concert in Tokyo Dome, Jang Keun Suk proved himself very well and it placed Jang Keun Suk on the level of a real artist. Even though it was only the first concert, it was sold out with 45,000 fans in the Dome. Performing with fantastic stage manners, he was the only actor that would dance, sing and DJ on stage, so this made another Hallyu wave sweep through Japan again. After this, he could stand beside Dong Bang Shin Gi [동방신기], JYJ, RAIN and perform on the same stage that they had and prove that he was not only an actor but now a singer too.

2012 Asia tour THE CRI SHOW 2
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In 2012, Jang Keun Suk showed the real side of himself by putting on his own concert. He started in Seoul then Yokohama, Japan, Shanghai, China, Taipei, and Taiwan. He went around nine cities all over Asia and had 163,000 fans at the concerts.

Especially for the Asia tour CRI SHOW 2, he used the best and most expensive equipment for the stage, so the level of the stage was completely different from other concerts. Jang Keun Suk moved along with all of his stage equipment from China to Eastern Asia. The entire stage was reminiscent of the shape of a wine glass and there was a large screen in the middle, and others to the right and left for a total of three large screens.

He was on the top of the Oricon chart at #1, on top of the Weekly chart at #1, and on the United World chart in the top four with his Japanese Album ‘Just Crazy’ and with the singles ‘Crazy Crazy Crazy’, ‘Abracadabra’, and ‘Stay’. He gifted these songs with different genres to his beloved fans. He sang them at his concerts and made them special for his fans too. Compared to other singers, Jang Keun Suk is just like them with perfect live singing skill, stage performance, and stage manner too.

‘Asia Prince’s’ unique 20th anniversary
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The fans of ‘Asia Prince’ celebrate his birthday on a different level. It was his 20th anniversary as an actor so his fan club put out a celebratory message on KBS and MBC for one month, it was on air for a total of 620 times. It was a ‘DC Inside Mary Stayed Out All Night’ gallery. Also, the fan clubs from all over the world gathered money for one year to celebrate his anniversary and help give four patients eye surgery.

Last September, the Korean fan club CRI-J made a Jang Keun Suk subway ad on the 5th line and placed Happy 20th Anniversary messages all over the subway making it a ‘Jang Keun Suk train’. On his birthday on Sep 26th , they established ‘Jang Keun Suk 20th Anniversary Volunteers’ and held a charity event that raised 9,260,000 won ($9260).

Last October, Jang Keun Suk’s thirteen China fan clubs got together and placed an advertisement on the screen doors at Myung Dong, Hongdae University, and Hanyang University subway stations. Jang Keun Suk is an alumni at Hanyang university, so that’s why they picked that station. Through all of these activities that Jang Keun Suk’s fans participated in, they showed that his fans are part of a very mature fan culture and have the power to affect the whole of Asia.

Jang Keun Suk’s fan club, collected and donated the funds from Jang Keun Suk’s picture gallery
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To celebrate Jang Keun Suk’s 27th birthday the fans opened a picture gallery named G Arche Gallery that is placed in Seoul Gangnam-gu Yeoksam-dong. The gallery was called the “2013 Jang Keun Suk Commemorative Birthday Sharing Photo Exhibit”. At the gallery there were not only Korean fans but also fans from France, Iran, China, and Taiwan that came to Korea to see the exhibit. There were about 1,000 total fans that came and visited. The pictures were from the past four years of Jang Keun Suk’s life.

The gallery where it was held is where ‘CRI J’ [크리제이] fanclub members volunteer every two months and work in the name of Jang Keun Suk. The total funds that they earned was 10,271,000 won and with them the fan club bought electronics that the Namsanwon Social Welfare organization needed.

Through these activities the fan clubs are not only showing their love towards their celebrity, but they are making a new fan club culture that Jang Keun Suk dreamed of having before he ever had fan clubs. The fan clubs are trying to be good influences for everyone and to be good leaders for Hallyu fan clubs as a whole.

Not only star quality, but a Hallyu star that is also a good actor, Jang Keun Suk
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After ‘Beautiful Man’ ended, Jang Keun Suk spent his time doing a tour in Japan and after four years he came back to his Korean fans. On Feb 8th at Olympic park’s Olympic hall he did a fan meeting with 3,000 fans and interacted deeply with them. It was called ‘Jang Keun Suk Fan Meeting-2014 Jang Keun Suk Propose’. With sensational fan service and stage manners, he showed all of his ability and passion to his fans.

On this day, JYJ’s Kim Jae Joong [김재중] surprised fans on the stage and made it a exciting stage. Jang Keun Suk packed 3,000 chocolates by himself and gave one to each fan and made it a heart warming present for them.

In the Asian market, we are not sure how long Hallyu will last and survive. However, we now know that Hallyu is not simply a sparkle of fame that was made in a day and fades away easily.
Asians have started to focus on and love Korean celebrities music, beauty, fashion, food, and lifestyle. And one of the persons who brought this forward was Jang Keun Suk.

He started as a young actor in Korea but is now is in the middle of Hallyu standing tall. Now he is saying that he will never forget the love that his fans have given him. And to give back that love, he will be a proud Korean and will reach out and stand tall worldwide.

Korean dramas, movies, music and concerts, these and other cultural components have big potential for Jang Keun Suk who is creative and progressive, a real Hallyu star. Just like he has proudly done until now, we hope he will never stop and just ZIKZIN Jang Keun Suk.

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34 thoughts on “[article] Asia’s ‘Pretty Man’, Jang Keun Suk’s Never Ending Story_20140217”

  1. Really a comprehensive writeup of Suk’s life history and achievement so far.. thanks to eels from TEF for the translation and sharing ^_^

    Reply
  2. Just love this article that reveals the Prince life. Lots of good reflection that is a must keep article for eels. Just simply love, admire, and adore this son of Koreans.

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  3. He’s our boss!
    Our superman!
    Our role model!
    Proud to be his eel!
    Continue to Zikzin and fulfill yr dream Prince!
    Millions of eels will support you!

    Reply
  4. Very good article, worth to read it… Making people know better inside of Jang Keun Suk…
    Yes.. He’s the person that never stop to creating, always give the best on all his work.. No left, no right just straight forward, this our prince Jang Keun Suk…. zikzin sukkie…sarange…

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  5. This is an article all eels should be read,a collection article,very goood,thanks TEF for the translation and Tenshi/ jangkeunsukforever for sharing here.

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  6. Tenshi, thanks a lot! This is the most comprehensive and detailed article that capsulized Sukkie work for the past 22 years? Hopefully the antis would come to realize that what he has achieved was the accumulated product of hard work, determination, perseverance and authentic talent. Not just a result of media hype. And I’m so proud to follow him!

    Reply
  7. Jang Keun Suk Asia’s Pretty Man is always the first achiever, has made history in Hallyu that that has never been done by any of his predecessors, a real Hallyu Star! I’m so proud of him! Its about time that an article like this is written, to let the world know the uniqueness of Jang Keun Suk.

    And eels must be proud too knowing that their boss prince is creative & progressive, the media has never seen fan clubs like that of Sukkie’s “good leaders for Hallyu fan clubs as a whole”. True true true since Jang Keun Suk has always been the leader, its natural that eels are also striving to be leaders in fan culture. Zikzin to Asia’s Prince & his Eels!

    Reply
  8. Thanks for sharing and translating .
    A wonderful article with an impressive story .
    I have to be honest and admit that I read it last night but I waited to comment with you here. I was sure Tenshi ours will share this article.
    I read it several times and each time I was in tears . There are tears of emotion and joy.
    And what we read can be called a summary .
    It should also be remembered all advertisements, events that was master of ceremonies, photo shoots as a model for famous brands …..
    I read some time ago that he was appointed in 2010 the Youngest PR Ambassador for Seoul City.
    Jang Keun Suk appointed as Ambassador of 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.
    Jang Keun Suk sang the Korean National Anthem in Tokyo Dome, Japan, prior to the Japanese Tsunami Charity Event, ‘ The 2nd Korea – Japan Dream Game’a charity match between Play Boys of Korean Celebrity Baseball Team, and All Stars , a team of retired baseball players .
    There would be much to say.
    I came to a conclusion. Koreans still love Keun Suk.
    And I can not hold my emotion when I read the passage about the advertisement for underwear, when he was very young. How to earn money in this advertisement paid the rent on a year. I think few people realize that the burden had to wear on his shoulders young but strong.
    For all these reasons I think that at this amazing young man with great respect and admiration.
    Please believe me, when it comes to the true value does not matter the age.

    Reply
    • Dear Keun Suk.
      When you were born, you cried first, and then you smiled.
      Angels have guarded you at your coming into the world was fascinated and took important decisions. On August 4, 1987, you were blessed. Your voice and your smile become healing remedies for the eyes and hearts of those who listen to you and watch you.
      Therefore, every morning when you wake up, please think that you received another gift . Begin a new beautiful day of your life.
      You have to cherish these gifts to take care of yourself, stay the same precious Jang Keun Suk , no matter what they want those around you.
      You have to do what you believe and believe in what you do.
      All the best.

      Reply
  9. Thanks Thensi for sharing that with us.
    JKS, our dear Cola-Sukkie, I hope we’re ZIKZIN together in this never-ending story.
    Please, don´t forget that we love you our “timeless” man.

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  10. For all these years, I have not been so crazy about Korean actor or actress. But this time I don’t know why I am now so so so crazy with this young and handsome, smart and hard working guy – Keun Suk our Asia Prince.

    I am turning 50s this year but everytime I watch his videos, photos, news and listen to his songs, it always make me feel good and happy everyday as if I am going back younger to my childhood.

    I admire him with his good characters – true, cute, playful and caring besides those characters which I had mentioned above.

    Everyday, I must watch one of his videos and songs which I had saved in my handphone to make my day while working.

    May You Be Blessed Endlessly My Prince.

    LOVE YOU

    Reply
    • Beauty, you’re not alone as many of us (including mama eels ^_^) are experiencing our childhood or teens at our adulthood when we get to know Jang Keun Suk more… I have never imagine myself to go after a young Korean artiste at this age as even in my teens, I don’t follow any artiste to the extend to fly overseas to support him in his concerts and FMs. but like many of my eels friends who have seen him in person and love his personality and talent, we will follow him forever…

      Reply
      • Wow, QQeyes, you are so blessed and lucky to have seen Keun Suk in person. Did you attend the Seoul FM? I’m still waiting for some kind eels to share their fan accounts in this blog.

      • Marissa, sorry dear. I didn’t know the Seoul FM FA has not been share in JKSforever blog yet as many of us have shared bits & pieces of our memories in ECI ^_^ Ok… let me try to write my FA of recent Seoul FM when I can still remember.. eels normally have a “floating” period of 1 week after seeing Suk in person and follow by Suk’s withdrawal period which we will miss him… so do understand why some of the FAs took a while for us to write… LOL!

    • Yes…Beauty you are not alone..
      I’m also one of those “older” eels who gets so happy with him..
      Since I follow I have not a dull moment and never regretted starting to support to this extend.. In my opinion speaking from my life experience he worth my admiration..just how QQeyes says..
      Just enjoy your life and the things that makes you happy and on your feet…Life is really precious and short..

      Reply
    • Dear Beauty.
      I share your feeling the full. I passed 50 years and I never ever imagined that I would become a fan of a young Korean artist. And here I am, arguing strongly that I am an eel. An old eel but sincere and devoted … ha ha ha … or as my kids say, mature not old. And more than that, I share my thoughts about ours Keun Suk on this blog and I feel like between friends.
      And to be honest, I feel very well in this position. I listen to his songs daily, watching news about him, I watched all the movies and series with him, always I discover videos that I have not seen, I discover new things about him, I admire his talent and character.
      I’m happy for his accomplishments, are sad when he is sad, just like for a son.
      My advice is to enjoy most of these wonderful moments and know that you’re not alone.
      All the best.

      Reply
  11. You have done a good job on this article. I just love jks. And after reading this I love him more. 🙂 so thank you for your hard work on this article 🙂

    Reply
  12. Thank you tenshi
    Great work…
    I just notice him last October 2014
    and now everyday I listen to his song
    craving news and vid bout him
    Watch his drama over and over again
    Brighten up my days

    I just love him the way he is…
    uncondotionally

    Reply
  13. wow. What a cute kid. Have always been proud of you oppa.
    Let your dreams come true.
    You’ve always been my n01 oppa.
    GO BEL AMI
    GO EELs
    GO SUKKIes

    Reply
  14. Morning thx for the long and detail documentary of our dear JKS , I have had no idol in my past years but when I got to known him at the end of 2014 , I just like him so much and follow his news his everything even fly to watch his shows in Shanghai China and Tokyo Japan I like him not only bcx he is an actor or singer but bcx I like his character and his personalities . We are so proud of you , doing things of what you like and fulfill your dreams ,Zikzin JKS !! Good luck good health God bless you ????????????

    Reply
  15. one of my favorite actor in Korea, for how many years :)…
    love his history and I hope that he will come in the Philippines too, and had a concert…

    can’t wait to see that,

    God bless you guys

    Reply
  16. Jang keun suk,you’re beautiful and this was the 1st k drama that i had watched and i totally fall in love with him,he is my best actor in the world then and forever.I’m so grateful for you,keep on going my hero,my Prince,we your eels will always support you,Love you!

    Reply
  17. At last! Not only a clear statement that Sukkie was the BEST child actor but also 1st time found a meaningful fragment with him from LADIES IN THE PALACE n some additional parts of THE GREAT AMBITION, till now I only found the spectacular trailer of that drama.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bp72t5g9KM
    There r so many super talented child actors these days n also some years back. Sukkie met on set with Moon Geun Young 3 times, that means they may have been something like YeoYoo couple back in those days. I guess there weren’t awards for kids back then?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMJKca8BE5M

    Didn’t find yet the review I’m looking for, the one I asked for in FEEDBACK thread examines the process from Lovers in Prague till BV as a long period of transition, mentioning an Ego crisis around Hong Gil Dong if I recall correctly, till it was really done, becoming an adult respectable actor in the eyes of everyone. But the above is as important.

    Reply

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