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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

. . byj's momjjang project . .

= BYJ's momjjang project =

Article: the Women Joong-ang (Nov. issue of 2004)
Typewritten in Korean and posted by Lemon (http://www.yongjunie.net)
English translation and posted in OB by Àܵ¹¹çyoungsun
Credits: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/absolutelybyj

The first reaction was "just unbelievable!" and the next one was a doubt whether it could be a composite. With his shape totally changed only in 4 months, people might well think that the different BYJ in the photo wasn't real but artificial.... Some even thought fake muscle was put to his skin for a makeup to act a Rambo in an action movie. If they know the whole process how this photo album has been produced, however, they may feel sorry for their doubts, and admire Bae Yongjoon the more.

: : Starting the mom-jjang project, he took nothing but chicken
breast and several liters of water a day : :

When the offer was made to produce a photo album, BYJ said as follows: "It's important, to be sure, to show good looks to the fans. As it is the first photo album shooting to me, however, I want it to be such as to leave something meaningful to me as well. I 'd like it to be a severe job like a movie- or drama-shooting rather than just to pose myself in places scenic or with wonderful backgrounds. This photo album shooting will be a new challenge to me. Though many offers have been made from Japan to publish a photo album, I've always wanted to do that job with a Korean company. I think cultural differences (between the producer and him) should not exist to show properly what I am. And I also think Japanese people want to see the BYJ in Korea, not the BYJ in Japan."

BYJ's new challenge triggered this project and took about 9 months to reach the finish line. It cost as much as 4 billion won to produce and additional 1 billion won will be for its advertisement. As it is, it's more than a simple photo album project. Mr. Jeong Hyeok, Art director of 'Coma' which produces the photo album said, "It's no less than shooting a movie." This is exactly what BYJ meant.

Among various jobs prepared minutely for 9 months, the most remarkable 'incident' is, resultantly, BYJ's body. It was not until exactly 4 months had lapsed since his starting body-shaping with the professional trainer that BYJ could become satisfied with his body.

For the initial 4 months of the project, he seldom appeared in public, allotting the entire time allowed him to fighting with barbells. He didn't want to do it roughly, just to imitate momjjang, now somehow in fashion. Once committed, he wanted the best body. That desire made him put up with everything.

According to him, the basis of bodybuilding is not simply exercising. BYJ says, "80% of good body shaping should be dependant on food." To be a momjjang, one should change his eating habit thoroughly. Starting the momjjang project, he took nothing but chicken breast and several liters of water a day. Breakfast, lunch, supper... always chicken breast on the table. He followed the advice of his trainer that taking salt and sugar prevents him from achieving good result in a short period. He suffered from seriously unbalanced nutrition on the while, which caused people around him deep worries. However, nobody could stop him, for they dared not to open their mouths in front of him struggling in pursuit of perfection.

Chicken breast was definitely good for making muscles as the trainer had said. However, it tastes so dry and hard that gourmets avoid it. It must have been toil to BYJ who enjoys visiting gourmet restaurants. Moreover, continual chewing of chicken breast causing some trouble with his teeth, he even had to mince it to eat. Despite all, he would not stop the project.

On the day before shooting, the situation became more severe. He didn't take a single drop of water, not to mention of chicken breast. He also followed every word of the trainer's advice that muscles could be shown best when the last drop of water was drained out of the body. The shooting, starting when he was already near-exhausted, proceeded for 6 hours. When the last cut completed, he could stand up only supported by others. Before explaining the process how he became the so-called
momjjang, he should have pre-warned, "Whoever you are, and whatever you do, never imitate it without an expert's help." However, he might say to himself silently, "I did it. I did it again."

: : Born fighter choosing a 'documentary' : :

Keeping a status of a star for the last 10 years, BYJ has had a desire for traveling. He is too famous, however, to take an aimless trip without being noticed. Another project of this photo album, 'Travel', was planned to quench his desire more or less. The producer proposed him to film in Europe, for the travel might be good enough itself and could produce 'good pictures' rather easily. BYJ knew well that each of ancient European buildings could be an excellent studio for shooting. He objected to it, however.

"Though it may be a difficult job, I'd like to shoot where they know me, where they recognize my value, that is, Asia. Particularly, I want to go to the countries I've never visited before. I can do jobs in Europe later."

Accordingly, Malaysia and Thailand were decided as shooting locations. These shootings, as BYJ had said, were not easy jobs. With 40 concepts of 'the Traveler' project, shootings took place in 39 different places. By the way, BYJ on shooting was so strange! He was not like ordinary artistes we think we know well. This is what Art director Mr. Cheong Hyeok explained about the strange (?) BYJ: "He didn't want to look stylish. In general, artistes perform to show themselves as cool as possible. Mr. Yongjoon emphasized on naturalness more than that. He wanted to show himself as he was. Thus, the shooting proceeded like filming a documentary. He didn't do such as gazing at the camera. It seemed that he wanted to show the new, different BYJ from the previous ones."

People who know BYJ prefer to call him 'a born fighter' instead of 'a born actor'. He adheres to his work to that degree and, after tasting the victory, moves to a bigger challenge. He has shown such him fully throughout the photo album shooting.


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