K-Pop Fans Get Schooled at KCON 2013
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 27th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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The panel for the “Successful Asian Americans In Entertainment” session. From L to R: Lydia Paek of YG Entertainment and Quest Crew, actor Will Yun Lee, electronic musician Tokimonsta, Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn and moderator Ted Kim of MNET.


This past weekend, Los Angeles played host to the second annual Korean pop culture convention, KCON, which brought out over 20,000 people from countries all over the world. The convention aimed to celebrate all aspects of the “Hallyu wave” and was expanded to two days which were filled with panels, workshops, contests and performances.

Melody Lui, a 20-year-old college student who travelled over 2,500 miles to see Teen Top and EXO, was most interested in gaining insight from the panel discussions.

“When the final product of a K-pop song is really good, I’m curious about how it got to be that way,” the native of Orlando, Florida, told iamKoreAm.com. “I’m excited for the panels that show us the K-pop behind the scenes.”

Lui was referring to KCON’s 23 panel discussions, most of which delved into K-pop’s inner workings such as “Developing K-pop Songwriting Skills” and “How I Became a K-pop Choreographer.” These panels spotlighted people who have had a hand in popular K-pop songs, such as Drew Ryan Scott, who did songs for SHINee, Tae Yang, and more, and Aimee Lee Lucas, who was an assistant choreographer to YG Entertainment artists. Continue Reading »

Video Roundup: Video Game Addiction, American K-pop, Ultimate Taekwondo
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 17th, 2012
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Here are some videos we’re watching this week at KoreAm.

Wired – South Korea
An addiction to gaming is becoming an increasing problem for the citizens of Internet-friendly South Korea. The gaming industry has turned it into a sport where players sit in front of a computer screen for days at a time. Nearly 2 million people in South Korea, from children to adults, have a gaming addiction and do not know when to pull themselves away from the monitor.

Makeup Guru Transforms into Johnny Depp
Tamang Phan amazed YouTube viewers when she first transformed herself into rapper Drake. Now, she young woman is at it again and this time, she is transforming herself into Johnny Depp and three of his most famous characters: Willy Wonka, Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands.

Turntable Bike Behind the Scenes
A few months ago, we featured an amazing video of a BMX bike that creates music based on the moves of the rider. Cogoo created a bike that attributed different sounds to different moves. As a rider did freestyle tricks, he recorded his own music. This behind the scenes video shows how they put the bike together.

Chad Future brings American K-pop
When Chad Future first appeared, he was in an American boy band called Heart2Heart. Their first song and video, “Facebook Official” looked like the American version of a K-pop song. Now, the Detroit native is back and he’s alone and singing in English as well as in Korean. This music video for his debut song “Hello” is the first of what he deemed American K-pop.

Ultimate North Korea Taekwondo
North Korean Taekwondo athletes take their sport to a different level in this compilation video. The athletes perform hits and kicks in front of a large audience as well as breaking wooden blocks, clay bricks and glass with bare hands and feet.

If you have more videos you’d like us to see, email linda@iamkoream.com.

Friday’s Link Attack: Dokdo Tensions Persist, Psy Mania, 2NE1
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 17th, 2012
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S. Korea vows ‘stern measures’ against Japan over Dokdo
Yonhap News

South Korea vowed to take “stern measures” on Friday unless Japan withdraws its proposal to take the issue of Dokdo, Seoul’s easternmost islets claimed by Tokyo as its territory, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“We make it clear that the Japanese proposal does not deserve even a passing notice as there is no territorial dispute over Dokdo because it is clearly a Korean territory historically, geographically and under international law,” Seoul’s foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said.

The proposal, which was immediately rejected by South Korea, is not feasible because Tokyo must secure Seoul’s consent to have the issue heard at the ICJ, Seoul officials said.

Uncle of North Korean Leader in Beijing
New York Times

China’s official media said the trip could be a prelude to Mr. Kim’s first visit, but the official focus was economic development. The meetings between Mr. Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek, and the top Chinese leaders came toward the end of his six-day trip to China, during which the government in Beijing promised to help North Korea develop two special trade zones near the Chinese border. Such zones, if successful, would provide the North Korean government with badly needed money as it tries to revive its staggering economy.

Fort Lee school board looks to fill open seat

Trustees this week elected Yusang Park to serve as president until the board reorganization meeting in January.

Park, a Korean-American who has been on the board for five years, declined to comment on any specific agenda for the next five months, saying he’d wait until the board’s goal-setting session in September to discuss concrete plans.

Woman killed in three-vehicle wreck on 101st Parkway
The Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville, Tenn.)

Knoll said the Arcadia failed to yield to a westbound Honda Accord, driven by Dae Kang, 64. The Honda crashed into the Arcadia and continued onward to hit a stopped Toyota 4Runner, driven by Jacquelynn Jackson-Bunch, 34, and finally came to rest after running into a stop sign.

Kang and his wife, Tae Kang, 65, who was a passenger in the Honda, were transported to Gateway Medical Center by ambulance, according to Knoll. Tae Kang died at Gateway shortly after the crash. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Interview: PSY on ‘Gangnam Style,’ posers and that hysterical little boy

Thanks to PSY (real name Park Jae-Sang), the whole world is talking about Gangnam, Seoul’s ritziest district, and wondering where — or what — it could possibly be.

And over on Facebook, feeds continue to be peppered with posts about the comic K-Pop singer-songwriter’s frenzied “horse dance,” which foreign media is calling “the second Macarena” because of its catchiness.

Top of the K-pops: Korean musicians must export or starve
The Economist

Korean pop (known as K-pop to fans) is turning into an export success. Groups such as Super Junior and 2NE1 now sell millions of CDs and concert tickets in other parts of Asia. As K-pop zooms up the foreign charts, share prices of leading labels, such as SM Entertainment, have soared too.

But the outlook at home is less rosy. With the world’s fastest broadband connections, Koreans have embraced downloading. This in itself is not a problem, but the way they do it is.

Korean Music Report: 2NE1 To Launch “New Evolution” In NY Area

Meet CL, Dara, Bom, and Minzy. The group 2NE1 burst onto the Asian music scene with the hit “Fire” in 2009 and have been red hot ever since. Now they’re headed to New York. But what sets them apart from the other Korean groups tryng to find success in the United States?

“I think it’s our music and our loving fans that give us energy on stage,” said 2NE1′s CL.

’4 Wedding Planners’ available on VOD

Director Michael Kang’s latest feature, 4 Wedding Planners (formerly Knots), is available on Video on Demand and as a digital download starting today.

Unlike his previous features, The Motel and West 32nd Street, his latest film was written by and stars Kimberly-Rose Wolter. Wolter plays Lily, the oldest of three sisters, all by different dads. Mom Miriam (Illeana Douglas) believes in love and marriage, but maybe not so much the everlasting nature of either. As you might expect, that’s left all three of her daughters with some issues.

Sole Sisters
T Magazine/New York Times

Cole Haan’s recent collaborations — with the musician Theophilus London on a pair of blue suede bucks and with the recording artist and designer Hiroshi Fujiwara on neon-accented wingtips — have offered men of style a new view of the venerable footwear brand. This fall, the company is giving its women’s line a similar treatment. For the first limited-edition women’s collaboration, Olivia Kim, Opening Ceremony’s vice president of creative, and her pal Jen Brill, a brand ambassador for Chanel and creative consultant, have created a collection of shoes that can be worn from day to night.

Knockout loves being the ‘heel’
The Daily Reporter (Spencer, Iowa)

For more than 13 years, Gail Kim has used her athleticism and charisma to entertain audiences around the world performing in the ring, and most recently, as one of the top performing Impact Wrestling Knockouts.

N.Korea Olympic squad returns to heroes’ welcome
AFP via Google News

North Korea’s Olympic squad has returned home to a heroes’ welcome, with cheering crowds lining the streets and the cabinet hosting a celebration banquet, according to the official news agency.
The North won four gold medals and two bronze at the London Games, finishing 20th in the table in the country’s best result since Barcelona in 1992, and its athletes have credited the ruling dynasty for their strong performance.

If history is any indication, Na Yeon Choi could be player to watch in Safeway Classic
Oregon Live

Aside from the winners, no player has performed better at Pumpkin Ridge than Choi, who was runner-up the last two years. Last year, Choi controlled the tournament through 36 holes and had a three-shot lead going into the final round before shooting 73 Sunday and losing in a playoff to Suzann Pettersen.

“I think I can read the greens very well,” Choi said. “That’s why I played well the last two years, and I think even this year, I have really good confidence on this golf course.”

Every boyfriend’s nightmare: Inside Seoul’s new handbag museum

The brainchild of Kenny Park, 57, the CEO of Simone Acc. Collection Ltd., a Korea-based supplier of handbags for labels including Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Tory Burch, the museum houses more than 300 European pieces in its permanent collection over two floors and reserves the top floor for special exhibitions.

Built over three years, the building itself cost US$3.53 million while another US$1.59 million was spent on securing pieces for the collection.

Hester Street Fair

The Hester Street Fair is an outdoor community market in the Lower East Side of New York City created by The Big Social team of Ron Castellano, SuChin Pak, Adam Zeller, and Suhyun Pak. HSF is a hybrid incubator and launching pad for small, independent businesses and artists specializing in unique handmade goods and artisanal food. Hundreds of vendors rotate over 60 spaces every Saturday at The Hester Street Fair to create one of the most dynamic outdoor events in New York City. Listed as Time Out New York’s #1 Thing To Do in New York City, The Hester Street Fair has become one of New York’s most beloved destinations.

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Dokdo, Benson Henderson, Filmmaker So Yong Kim
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 15th, 2012
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Japan, China, S. Korea stir old resentments on war anniversary
Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s 67th anniversary of the end of World War II collided with election-year politics in the Asia Pacific, spurring South Korea’s president, Japanese officials and Chinese activists to stage controversial gestures that have stirred up bitter wartime memories.

South Korea had already rekindled long-smoldering resentment of Japanese occupation and war-era abuses when its president, Lee Myung Bak, last week visited a cluster of rocky islets claimed by both his nation and Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recalled his nation’s ambassador to South Korea in protest of Lee’s visit Friday to the outcroppings known in Japan as Takeshima and in South Korea as Dokdo and coveted for their surrounding fisheries and energy reserves.

Japanese Ministers Visit War Shrine Amid Tension With Asian Neighbors
The New York Times

The officials — Jin Matsubara, the minister in charge of the issue of Japanese abductions by North Korea, and Yuichiro Hata, the transportation minister — visited the Yasukuni Shrine separately to mark the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. No other cabinet members have visited the shrine since the Democratic Party came to power in Japan in 2009, vowing to build closer ties in Asia.

The two officials, both conservatives, went to the shrine despite a request from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that they stay away. Japanese rightists defend such visits as an appropriate way to honor Japan’s war dead. But the shrine is seen by many in China and South Korea as a symbol of unrepentance in Japan over the country’s militarism in the early 20th century, when its armies marched brutally through Asia. The dead who are honored at the shrine include executed war criminals.

SFPD underreports Latino, Asian arrests
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Police Department has underreported the arrest rates of the city’s two largest minority groups for years, classifying Latino arrestees as “white” and Asian American suspects as “other,” according to agency records and police officials.

THE FAMILY TABLE: ‘Mr. Kim’ proud of tastes of Korea
San Angelo Standard-Times

Jong Cheol Kim, better known as “Mr. Kim” to his customers, takes pride in giving San Angeloans a taste of Korea through the menu of his restaurant, Nakamura Sushi & Korean cuisine.

Japan TV pulls Korean drama over island spat
AFP via Google News

A Japanese television station said Wednesday it was postponing the airing of a South Korean drama series starring an actor who took part in a swim to a group of islands at the centre of a territorial row.
BS Nippon Corporation said it would replace “A Man Called God”, which features popular actor Song Il-Kook and was to due air from next week, with a re-run of another South Korean drama series.

‘For Ellen’ Director So Yong Kim Reveals Details About Her Next Film ‘Seventy’
Indie Wire

Among established filmmakers, few have moved as fascinatingly from film-to-film quite like So Yong Kim. The writer-director recently moved from the austere, critically acclaimed Korean picture “Treeless Mountain” to the upcoming “For Ellen,” a quintessentially American indie about a tortured rock star dealing with custody issues with his young child. However, it looks like the writer-director, who has formed an indie super couple with “Exploding Girl”/”Jack and Diane” director Bradley Rust Gray, is about to paint a wider canvas.

Jung-eun Kim Deploys Dance for Art—and Sometimes for Politics
Philadelphia Weekly

At the Painted Bride Art Center last January, in front of a screen playing a video of birds flapping their wings and flying along a river’s edge, Jung-eun Kim glided slowly across the stage, picking up a row of white paper airplanes to the pensive strains of a score composed by her husband, jazz organist Lucas Brown. It was the opening moments of “Staying and Going”—her meditative, dreamlike modern dance piece that contemplates the joy of flight and the uncertainty of change through movements forward and backward and, at times, hardly any motion at all.

Benson Henderson-Nate Diaz set

Henderson (17-2) defeated former 155-pound champion Frankie Edgar by split decision in a rematch on Aug. 11 to retain his title.

Diaz, who has competed at 170 pounds, is 3-0 since returning to lightweight. He secured a title shot with a second-round submission May 5 of Jim Miller.

Korean flutist Jasmine Choi captures Vienna
The Korea Times

No Korean to date has become as established as Jasmine Choi in this area, the first Korean to be named principal flute of the 112-year-old Wiener Symphoniker, or the Vienna Symphony.

She has been working for the renowned Austrian orchestra since June, after a grueling audition process. She has left her former post of associate principal flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to join one of Austria’s most respected music institutions.

Local university students curate the museum
Riverside Press-Enterprise (Calif.)

Lydia Young Ha Kim, a recent graduate of Cal Baptist University, recently participated in the Student Curatorial Council, a pilot program that lets students curate the Riverside Art Museum.


Since 2010, the duo has thrived as a popular beat-producing factory combining their diverse background of hip-hop, psych rock and electronic music to create their unique blend of rips and cuts.

Video Roundup: Boss Ramen, Akio Nukaga, Randall Park
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 11th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Here are some videos we’re watching this week at KoreAm.

Firework Bazooka
If you’re ever stuck inside on a rainy day and you’re dying to see a firework display, this toy might be just what you need. From Uncle Milton, a light-based toy maker, comes the Anywhere Fireworks Bazooka. This really bizarre bazooka displays the images of fireworks on dark surfaces and even includes firework sound effects to complete the experience.

How to Eat Noodles like a Boss
After watching this Chinese commercial for the ramen, Boss Noodles, I learned that I’ve been eating ramen all wrong. Usually, I would combine the noodles, soup packet and hot water in a bowl and leave it covered for about three minutes. This commercial, however, shows the ridiculous procedur of eating ramen like a boss. One must first chomp the uncooked noodles and then pour scalding hot water directly into one’s mouth. And in order the ensure the correct flavor, one must then snort up the soup base through a broken scallion. Only then, will the two women in the office swoon.

The Human Jukebox
CDZA went out and created a musical experiment titled “The Human Jukebox.” They set up with Charles Yang on the violin, Michael Thurber on the bass and Eddie Barbash on the alto saxophone. They had a table and five jars labeled: Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Bach, Fast Forward and Slow Down. As people put in monetary donations, they would change their style of music or even their speed. The boys then donated all the money they collected.

Hypnotic Potter Akio Nukaga
Akio Nukaga, a ceramics master from Japan, mesmerizes a crowd with his seemingly effortless creation of teacups. What takes hours for most people to accomplish, he finishes in less than two minutes.

Vietnamese Man Builds His Own Batpod
You don’t have to have Bruce Wayne’s millions of dollars to create his Batpod. This Vietnamese man used what he had and put together a fully-functioning motorcycle that looks similarly to Batman’s Batpod.

Radio with Randall Park
Randall Park takes on the role of Harold Yamamoto, a fill-in radio DJ for the radio show “Triple Homicide Hip Hop.” Yamamoto, who usually hosts the “Healing Touch,” a Christian radio program, is called in last minute to fill for DJ Cocaine, who was arrested earlier. Watch the hilarity of Yamamoto coping with the different radio show.

If you have more videos you’d like us to see, email linda@iamkoream.com.

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