About 2 years ago, I was watching Charice Pempengco on YouTube, as she sang on a Korean variety show. On the show was a series of guys called Super Junior, and I was drawn to how sentimental they got as they talked about their hard times. I looked them up and fell in love with this video. I had the sort of reaction I had to the Japanese Yatta! video. I then started learning about them and watching their lives, as Korean pop stars seem to make a brand out of every minute and talent of these idols. If anything, I’d say that the k-pop industry would be like if the Disney channel also did reality TV with their headliners being a little older.
Asian pop culture permeates throughout the eastern and southeastern nations (often, with interesting collabs), and occasionally, I’d get the experience Super Junior from the venue of a Chinese variety show, as the guys (all but one, who was Chinese) awkwardly communicated with their audience in China and Taiwan. On one instance they were asked to sing a song in Chinese, and this one great singer, Ryeowook, sang this song called “Kiss Goodbye.” It was beautiful, and I looked it up to find out about Lee Hom Wang. This is important, because that was the moment I got interested in Chinese-Americans who’d made it big as singers in Asia. I learned about Lee Hom Wang, Coco Lee, and Vanness Wu. When the Olympics happened in China, I was already keen to a number of their celebrity performers.
Now, I listen to Jazz, Gospel, Funk, and Electronica. I don’t do pop music, not anymore. Maybe I’ll know a few R&B and Hip Hop jams, and maybe whatever was on the latest Rock Band game. It became a guilty pleasure, but some part of me liked getting plugged into Asia. I mean, had my parents not immigrated, that’s what I’d be listening to. As the evangelist I am, I shamelessly proselytized their music and culture to all my friends.
I mean, why does this matter? Well, if you haven’t read my last post, I’ve been feeling really internationally charged lately. I understand enough of it now that I’m not digging for information, but once in a while, I’ll look up the artists to see if have any new songs. This story picks up 9 days ago when I was looking up Vanness Wu, and I found this:
Now does this happen in the west? Do big American celebrities lay down their life for Jesus? I do hear that artists are Christian here and there, but the media often makes them sound like idiots. And many of them have given ammunition for the media to shine a strong light of hypocrisy on their lives. There must be devout Christians in the media, but it’s hard to think of any celebrities that seem Christian before anything else. I found an article about this, and of all the people listed, Tyler Perry is probably the only one I find influential in the US.
At first I was like, wait?… Is Vanness Wu, Taiwanese-American celebrity, serious about this? Then I watched the video, and I was like, no way. This is too good to be real. He’s got that same burning urgency and hunger that I have right now, while trying to finish my PhD. Then I find that he’s tied to Super Junior’s Siwon Choi from Korea. One after another, I’d find these influential figures were not just “Christian,” but getting together to pray and have bible studies. They tweet pictures from meetings with so much buzz from fans. What a statement of unity and devotion.
Check this out, they’re prayer meetings make it onto tabloid sites and fanpages all over the internet:
As many of you know, there’s much bloodshed in Thailand right now because of the sensitive political situation. But some Korean stars are feeling sad about the situation and have come together for a praying session for them.
On May 19th, Super Junior’s Choi Siwon posted a group picture of their praying session on his Twitter and actress Ryeo Won, SNSD’s Tiffany, Yoona, Sooyoung and Hyoyeon, 2NE1’s Minzy and 2PM’s Taecyeon were sighted. Siwon wrote, “Please pray for Thailand ! HOLY SPIRIT come to Thailand ! Be safe !!”
The biggest surprise however was seeing Minzy in the picture. Who ever said YG artists kept to themselves? We just don’t see it on the surface.
It’s really nice of them do a thing like this even though they are far away from Thailand and I’m sure they are worried sick about the safety of their fans and families too. Let’s all hope that things will improve in Thailand soon!
And then, I keep hearing about this Jaeson Ma guy. From his name, I thought he was Korean, but turns out he grew up in Vietnamese gangs in San Jose and is Chinese. Dude, this guy is encouraging pop stars all over Asia. Now, I don’t know much about him, but I hear he’s had a heart for college campuses. I’m so down with that. Right when I heard about his endeavors, I knew I had to meet him. It’s times like this that I want to be done with my PhD right now. I want to be where the action is, but I know not to go until it’s time. Seriously though, Jaeson Ma knows the Justin Timberlakes, Rihannas, and Taylor Swifts of the east, and he’s encouraging and inspiring people with an inquenchable fire.
Apparently, Jaeson has been touring with a documentary on the 1040 widow. I’m not going to say much about it now, b/c I’ll write about it after I go see his last screening in San Jose tonight! I invited so many people to go, b/c I know this is something not to miss. I know that God wants me there and to meet Jaeson Ma (Prophet Points++). The timing is just too perfect.
My favorite group? It’s Korea’s 2NE1. They’re gonna make it big in the west, and I’ve thought so ever since their first single, “Fire.” You heard it here first 😛
See you there!