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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

. . the image in an expert's eye . .

[Chris: Though an old article and I know it may kind a tad late, but I still want to thank the writer and of course, BB for her wonderful translation for this article. Many a times we placed ourselves on prority and mislooked those who worked hard on it.]

From: BYJ's Quilt by happiebb
Original by: 多英 2005/01/06
Translated into English by: Happiebb 2005/01/07

bb: Would like to thank 多英 for allowing me to translate her essay, thanks!
and the expert's views start somewhere past 1/3 of the article... ;p



[Sharing] The Image – Looking Through an Expert’s Eyes

I suppose not many people would object to the saying 2004 was indeed a year that belonged to Yong Joon.

2004 was a year that Yong Joon enjoyed both fame and fortune.

For the first time, Yong Joon left his hometown for his fans and everywhere he went,
throes and throes of people would come forth to meet him, or just to see him. His new work, The Untold Scandal, seduced the whole of Asia effortlessly whilst his old work, Winter Sonata, conquered the Isles of Japan. His pictorial album flew off the shelves and even his photo exhibition could save lives by rendering help to the victims in the recent disasters.

The Yong Joon fever does not appear to be subsiding come 2005; in fact, it appears to continue to burn brightly towards the new land of America.

2004 was Yong Joon’s hardest year.

In 2004, Yong Joon embarked on the unprecedented training regime that was never seen in the Asian entertainment industry. His body underwent the most rigorous of training and he bore the pain of his muscles being stretched. The tortuous pain of the fitness program tested his mind and challenged his will and he went through tremendous stress mentally. In the end, his determination and perseverance saw him through and what emerged was a perfect physique.

He was ready for the pictorial album.

Work-wise, he spared no effort in fighting the biggest obstacle that stood in the path of his career development – his previous agency. Thereafter, he set up his own agency. From here on, what greeted him were endless questions to answer, endless problems to solve, directions to be set and plans to be made. But Yong Joon… he overcame all the difficulty and teething problems and put into place hundreds of plans and accomplished a dozen or so projects that rocked both Korea and beyond.

2004 was also the year Yong Joon faced the most criticism since his debut.

His total transformation in The Untold Scandal.. Although most of his fans sang praises for his period look, a fraction of them could not accept the extent of his nudity in the movie. But the movie was so beautifully made, so aesthetically crafted, everyone accepted it eventually. So, the arguments against his decision faded away.

For Yong Joon, the most significant and important event in 2004 was probably the making of The Image.

To commemorate his 10th anniversary into the industry, he wanted to present a special gift of love to his fans. This was something Yong Joon had been planning since 2003. And precisely because The Image was something perceived by him as a way of returning and expressing his love for his family, so he was extremely meticulous towards the project.

The preparation time prior to the actual shooting was more than half a year. He did not take the easy way out.. He could have chosen to work more comfortably under perfectly cast spotlight, dressed to the nines and striking picture-perfect posts and just called it a day’s work. But no.. He insisted on a rigid diet and a rigid fitness program; the gruelling and punishing regime haunted him painfully for as long as six months.

But he put up with it all without complaint. All because he wanted a meaningful gift for his family. The laborious pictorial album was finally completed. Although there're two extreme camps amongst the fans towards The Image, sales remain red hot.

For now, let’s not talk about the motivation that propelled people to buy The Image.
Let’s just really look at The Image objectively, from the technical perspective..
Alas, there may not be too many experts around who can examine The Image from a professional angle, who can appreciate the details.

Below is a fan’s account of a photography professor’s comments about Yong Joon’s pictorial album. My dear sisters here may perhaps have a better understanding after reading it, a better understanding of why this book costs so much, a better understanding of other than the high production cost, where its true value lies.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A fellow fan has a son who is studying photography in the varsity and he is studying under a renowned professor in Taiwan. She was keen for her son to bring The Image for his professor’s comments. But her son refused. But once during a conversation between her son and his professor, the topic of The Image came up. Surprisingly the professor urged the son to bring the book for him to have a look.

As the professor pored over each page seriously, the son was thinking, "“Prof has never complimented any pictorial album, this time around The Image is sure to really get it quite bad.." To the son’s astonishment, the professor told him that The Image was a very good production. This surprised the son, and it also aroused his curiosity.

First.. About the Photography

When the professor first started to flip the pages, he had thought that photographs were taken by that famous Korean photographer who was involved in that lawsuit sometime ago. When he learnt that the whole phototraphy team was not some famous who’s who, he was shocked. He opined that a theme such as The Traveller was not easy to manage. But to be able to create such effects as The Image, one could tell that it was a team that was highly professional; a team that was strong and industrious as well. Very admirable.

The professor explained that many people thought that good pictures could be taken so long as one had a good camera and the pose was good. But one could not be further away from the truth. A good or well taken photograph involves site section, site preparation, styling of the subject, expression of the subject, the angle, the pose, the lighting, etc.. it would take ten or more outstanding professionals to work together to achieve.

The professor further complimented on Secret Hysteria, saying that the shooting site was created and not a "natural find".. In cases like this, it could be immensely difficult to create the right mood, the right atmosphere, but the team did a fairly good job in re-creating the setting. The photographs came across as very natural, not at all artificial or too fake.

Secondly.. About the Choice of Paper

When the professor first came into contact with The Image, his first reaction was that of surprise. He was surprised at the choice of material. It was not what the Japanese typically use – the glossy and bright paper quality. Yong Joon’s album uses paper that is not glossy yet it has a sheen to it. When he realised that the album was produced fully in Korea, he expressed surprised at the advancement of paper manufacturing in Korea. As for the Secret Hysteria’s format of alternate pagination,
the professor wistfully complimented, "This is very luxurious.. because the production cost will be higher by quite a few folds."

Thirdly… About the Bodybuilding

After looking at the lines of Yong Joon’s body, the professor was full of admiration. He was of the view that Yong Joon would have to go through a minimum of six months’ tough training in order to attain that physique. Looking at the pictures taken in the prison cell environment, he said that artistically, the feel and mood of the pictures were well crafted.


The Professor’s Conclusion

- Production of The Image would have taken a long time
- Production of The Image would have involved a lot of professional talents
- Much effort, spirit, intelligence must have been invested in the project,
- alongside investment of financial and other resources.

When he learnt that The Image retails at over NT4,000, he commented that the price was not high. He added that Yong Joon’s success must not have been pure luck. To be able to scale to such heights in Asia in the past few years.. Yong Joon must have extraordinary determination.

Along the way of recalling the above account, many of the technical jargon and professional terms were forgotten, for instance, the actual name for the high quality paper and scientific names for the materials used. But the whole point of this message is to focus on sharing what a professional has said about Yong Joon’s work. And perhaps this can help reduce whatever doubts you might have regarding its price. Perhaps this can help you re-think the value of this book.

Because he had not come across any movie script he fancied for the past two years,
Yong Joon put his heart, his soul, his everything into the making of The Image. Along the way, he took up some CF assignments and also led to some people criticizing him for not sticking to his main role as an actor, and some also said he was only interested in milking and making more money.

I’ve no doubt Yong Joon, too, saw these negative comments. He was probably very puzzled.. He was preparing his gift for everyone so single-mindedly, why… why would his effort invite such negative reaction?

That’s our Yong Joon… He’s so naïve and innocent that it’s adorable. Did he think his sincerity and effort would somehow make his family understand and share his thinking? Did he think his family would have complete trust in his love and in his sincerity?

This is not an issue about who’s wrong, who’s right, or what’s wrong and what’s right. The main point of this message is about understanding.

As I read about Yong Joon’s recent contribution towards the series of disasters, I feel he’s genuine in wanting to give something back to the society. He is true and sincere in hoping to use his influence to do something for the world, a world that in his mind is perceived as ONE. So, by supporting him, are we then also participating in doing charity for the society? Sometimes when we affirm others’ actions, we are in a way affirming our own intentions.

Now dear sisters, please do not hesitate or question your own judgement and choice.
At least for now, there is this special someone who is so deserving of our trust. We can believe that he will lead us towards a path lined with humanity, justice and love. Along the way, there will be warmth and laughter too. So long as we continue to think these things, we can face the harsh realities of the world with a smile.

We’re so lucky… For now, we’re happy and we’re safe, what more can we ask for?

8 Comments:

At 10:28 AM, Blogger marissa said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for reposting all this old articles. They are really worth keeping.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger luvjoon aka chiligoyo said...

Thanks for dropping by.. Marissa! Yeah, I love reading back old articles and they allowed me to reflect and appreciate more on the things he did.. :)

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi luvjoon, first time here and hv enjoyed your blog..yes do agree, nothing more than just a word "trust".. being a sincere man, he deserve our full respect :)

Luv
Amy

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger luvjoon aka chiligoyo said...

Thanks for dropping by, Amy!! Yes he does really deserve our full respect and support.. Love him so much!!

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger byjglobal said...

Luvjoon: Thank you for your blog. This is not late for me, as a matter of fact it is the very first for me to read about this wonderful comment about our YJ. Many thanks to Chris, Originator and of course BB(she is everywhere and we must must must have her around us all the time).

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger byjglobal said...

Luvjoon: Are you also called Chiligoyo? Excuse me that I couldn't recognize you. Did you change your Logo? Name? Site? It's confusing. Would you put your real picture on your introduction place? So we don't get confused. Thank you again for your good blog.

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger bb said...

whoa... chris, this was translated more than a year ago! you saved it? thanks...

really, byjglobal? you're reading this for the first time? glad chris reposted this so that you've a chance to see it. i enjoyed reading the chinese version at that time, and felt really good especially after reading what the expert had to say. if i remember it correctly, korean fan youngsun also translated this into korean.

 
At 11:49 PM, Blogger luvjoon aka chiligoyo said...

BYJGlobal, sorry for the confusion!! I have already changed my nick and my pic.. haha! Hope this clear some question bubbles!!

 

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