[KKonnect Lost Article] The 2012 SBS KPOP SUPER CONCERT in America: What Popped and Did Not Pop

The 2012 SBS KPOP SUPER CONCERT in America: What Popped and Did Not Pop

PREFACE

The opinions written in this article may not represent the views of KKonnect or most of the world.

-November 10th,2012

It is 11:00 PM on an unusually chilly Southern California night. Tired,bemused, ears ringing from hysterical women screaming at possibly every musician on stage,  and nestled in a warm blanket burrito (blanket burrito: being double wrapped in a blanket from your toes to your head), I shall try to comment on the SBS KPop Super Concert in Irvine.

Organizers:

  • What Did Not Pop:
    • Multiple delays of concert dates
    • Lack of advertising.
    • Pricing of tickets ($400.00 for premium seating)
    • Not having any Korean food available at a KPOP concert
    • The dismay of audience members who purchased orchestra seating when crowds of people who paid for $60.00 lawn seats were able to sit next to them
  • What Popped:
    • Organizing a stellar marquis of artists including: SISTAR,4MINUTE, BEAST, KARA, CNBLUE, 2NE1, GIRLS GENERATION
    • Addition of KARMIN who performed respectable covers of American Pop Songs with passion and enthusiasm.
    • Choosing a venue that is fair for both Los Angeles and San Diegan fans (Yes, I too can be biased), and located next to the large Irvine Spectrum Center Mall.
    • The ebullience of audience members who had lawn seats and were given the opportunity to sit in $400.00 orchestra level seats.

Artists:

  • What Did not Pop:
    • Poor emceeing.  Conversations between artists in Korean left much of the audience perplexed.  Californian Native Tiffany from SNSD was neither charismatic nor creative in emceeing the event with her colleagues, obviously reading from a script throughout the event.
  • What Popped:
    • Electric and flawless performances from all artists, truly displaying why they are the apex artists and consummate professionals in the KPop Genre. Each were excellent, but a few stood out:
    • BEAST:
      • Not my cup of tea in terms of artists, but no other group received more adulation from the audience than this group. Lady folk apparently have an affinity towards boy bands for some reason.
    • 2NE1:
      • 2NE1 were master class in their performance, orchestrating fan interaction during songs, had backup dancers,  showed unique dance moves, and did a shout-out to the audience.

It’s 11:45 now, Cartoon Network is transitioning from Adult Swim to Toonami, SNL is ending on NBC, and the temperature of the blanket burrito is just right…strained eyes shutting uncontrollably… time to go to sleep… entering dreamland…zzz

(Next Article “A Journey through Dreamland”….just kiddnig)

The Asian Market Chronicles: Intro + Saranghae Koroke!

The Asian Market Chronicles: Introduction

Pseudo-Sojourning is a term I use for the act of visiting ethnic markets to vicariously fulfill a desire to physically visit a country.  It is actually a hobby I and those of us who don’t have the gumption or opportunity to travel internationally are quite keen on.

We are quite fortuitous to live in a city like San Diego. Where else in the world can one experience cultures through visiting Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Persian, and Indian Grocery Shopping in the same city let alone the same street? 

Each market has its own unique character, peerless products, indigenous melodies serenading customers, vibrant fragrances and a certain je ne sais quoi that adds to their charm.

In this series I shall delve into my favorite experiences in my Pseudo-Sojourns in Korean Markets.

The Asian Market Chronicles: Saranghae Koroke!

What trip to a marketplace isn’t complete without entering the deli section? The rich aromas, enticing heat lamp lights, and all the food is presented behind glass like beautiful consumable art in such a tantalizing manner.  Once entering the deli/bakery section of Zion Market I was greeted by a charming associate with a shy “Annyonghaseyo” and slight smirk, perhaps she was enchanted  by my presence, perhaps she caught me ogling the food behind the glass.  Nevertheless, my attention was then captured  a most curious object.

The Croquette or “Koroke” as It is called in Korean Markets is culinary powerhouse containing but not limited to potatoes, eggs and beef mashed up and wrapped in breading and fried until it is golden brown delicious for less than $2.00.  The aroma is akin to a hearty Midwestern breakfast platter, aesthetically  it is in a most enticing round shape, and the taste is quite an experience. I must preface the rest of this article with the advice to buy a Koroke fresh out of the fryer, the experience lacks exponentially with time.

Upon eating you first pierce into its crunchy fried exterior (Croquer in Croquette is French for “To Crunch”) you discover a medley of mashed potatoes, onions, carrots, herbs, spices and depending on what variation you purchase, could have mushrooms, pumpkin, fish, chicken or beef. The croquette has it’s variations throughout the world however you can find it in your San Diego Chinese, Japanese, or Korean Market Delicatessens.

It is the perfect solution for today’s human, a balanced meal in one succinct portable package.

My preference is pairing a Koroke with a side of Kimchi to add heat to the flavor profile, in addition to freshness and tartness to contrast with fried potatoes and meat.

Once finishing the Koroke I exclaimed in broken Korean “Saranghae Koroke!” (on an unrelated note, KKonnect Writer Jini holds Korean Classes) . I received a rather bemused look from the associate and a “Saranghae means love, it is improper to use that phrase for inanimate objects correct?” to which I replied very unimaginatively  “Well, I LITERALLY love this Koroke”. Following a charity titter from the store associate. I went home happy with the feeling of gastronomic bliss and a little giddiness out of the vicarious thought that that associate may have been flirting with me. This was a nice Pseudo-Sojourn.

-Fateh K. aka “La Corée Culinaire Cavalier”

Picture from  http://recipespicbypic.blogspot.com/2008/09/drunken-chickens-croquettes.html

An interview with Albert Park– from “John Doe the Musical “

“Five personalities find themselves in a hospital waiting room.  Each of them, a part of the fractured psyche of JOHN DOE, a mystery patient suffering from a traumatic brain injury that has fractured his mind and cut off his ability to communicate. As each fragment attempts to unravel their true identity, JOHN DOE’s will to live is challenged as memories of his life and the mystery behind his near death are revealed.  Only through their shared will, can JOHN DOE take back his identity, his life and bring his assailant to justice!”

Interview with actor Albert Park:

Q. Was it your first time in a musical? if yes, was it a challenge to do singing?
A. This is my fourth musical. Most recently, before John Doe, I had the pleasure of performing in Asian Story Theater’s original production of The Musical Paul Gauguin, and SDAART’s production of Flower Drum Song. I am not classically trained, but I do enjoy singing in the shower. I would self-identify as an actor who can sing, and not the other way around.

Q. And how did you get cast for this?
A. I immediately became intrigued once I read the show’s premise. And when I saw that people who I’ve enjoyed working with before were involved, Andy Lowe, Michael Schwartz, Courtney Corey, and Deborah Climo, I didn’t need further convincing.

Q. Since this is a local production, did the producers by chance already have you in mind when writing the story? or did you have to go through auditions and everything?
A. Writer, composer, producer, Robert Moutal, along with the entire creative team, saw me and the other performers throughout the audition process. We got to see firsthand Robert and the director build the cast from the ground up, as they auditioned us by groups. Many of the performers you see up on stage were in the audition room with me. It was an exciting process, to be sure.

Q. And what’s next for you? Anything you already have lined up?
A. I’m happy to say that in June 2013 I’ll be in Extraordinary Chambers at Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company. This will be my second play with the company after David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face in 2010, where I worked with director Seema Sueko and actor Greg Watanabe. I am thrilled and honored to be working with them again in this play.

Playing at the Lyceum Theater in Horton Plaza, this musical comedy is showing until November 25th. For tickets, call (619) 544-1000 or visit their website at http://www.johndoethemusical.com/

An interview with William Dunn, the creator of the Korean Restaurants mural (as seen on November 2012 magazine)


– I heard you hadn’t tried much of Korean food, yet you did this artwork in the theme of Korean restaurants.  What was the creative process like? 

I’ve had “Korean BBQ” maybe three times in my life.  The first time I was a bit overwhelmed by all the side dishes. I didn’t know what went with what, or if there any kind of order to what was supposed to be eaten first, then second, etc. .  If there was a common approach to how to eat everything I didn’t know it. I decided it may not matter, so I just tried everything and made up my own mind about what appealed to me or not. It seemed the only way to approach it.  I didn’t expect to get a lesson from the wait person. By and large, I found the food really good and of course, different from my American fare.
The process of doing the art for the article was more complicated than it probably appears. I was so nervous about getting the Korean writing correct –  I wanted to make sure I had very good research material. I drove around for maybe the afternoon and early evening on two different days, photographing the exteriors of the names of restaurants you gave me at the onset of the project.  I wanted to see, in detail, the formation of the Korean characters so I could accurately reproduce them when I had to paint them. It would have been embarrassing to me, and to the magazine, if any of the Korean names in the illustration were not easily readable.
The basic procedure is to draw the various elements (dishes, names, and building) and move them around to achieve a good composition, being careful to avoid having anything important being located on the magazine “gutter”, where the pages meet in the middle. I also have a digital projector, which I sometimes use to expedite the process. Once I get a composition I like, I draw the elements onto the paper in pencil. Then I lay in large watercolor washes first to unify the overall feel with color, gradually working in smaller areas to show details.  Mistakes are difficult to correct in watercolor, so I try to be careful and also avoid getting a “stiff” overworked look to the finished piece. Of course I wanted the piece to “tell the story”, be accurate, add stimulus and excitement, and draw the viewer into the article.
You provided me with some excellent photos of what I figured must be “standard Korean dishes”. I also went online and got several more photos of Korean foods.  I had a “vision” in my mind from the moment we all met in the cafe to discuss the project, that I wanted a “montage” of food dishes, restaurant names with their individual logos (symbols) where appropriate, and maybe a restaurant front or two.  There is only so much space on the two pages, so I knew I had to not try to put too much into the illustration. I wanted an “overall feeling” of Korean food as it were. Not being Korean – I had to make some assumptions about what might be considered more typical foods, starting with the Korean food images you provided.  Also, the “Korea BBQ House” has a very distinctive building, looking “culturally correct” as far as I knew. I haven’t been to Korea, but the blue tiled roof and general decor looked authentic to me, and that is why I used it as the “building” in the montage.  As for the foods and such, I tried to be as visually accurate as possible with my painting technique so the foods would look “right” and hopefully appetizing, to a Korean.  Throughout the illustration I made design changes, moving little bits here and there, just to make the composition better.
– What inspires your art?
The inspiration for the art comes from the satisfaction of seeing the image in my mind transform into an actual piece of art, and the challenge of trying to get the “feel” of Korean food and dining experience in a painting, expecially when I don’t have the Korean culture embedded in me. Though it is hard work, seeing the final piece come to life and be a support to the magazine article is very creatively satisfying.  In the future I want to “go inside” some Korean restaurants and quietly sit and both enjoy the food, maybe a nice libation or two, and do some watercolor sketches of what is going on….. trying to capture the atmosphere,  the comraderie people are feeling, the sense of community and pleasure with the experience people are having, and for lack of a better word, the general ambience of the place. It’s great fun to do this, and a nice benefit is that often people come up to me and introduce themselves to me while I am drawing and laying in color washes.  They often just want to sit and watch me as I draw.  It seems normal to me to do this, but I know it’s something they don’t get to see very often. Yes, it’s a bit of a distraction, but I’ve learned it is just part of the experience.  I’ve met some very nice people this way.
– We read that you’ve had art training in various institutions– what are some of the most valuable lessons / learning you’ve received that makes you the artist that you are now? 
I’m fortunate to have had some good training in a variety of ways,  art schools for starters, and then my own personal endeavors to learn more and draw better along the way. I’ve been a graphic designer for the most part, and now do more drawing, painting, and am in the “Fine Art” world more.
Drawing well I think is the best asset an artist can have, and it comes quicker with formal training. The design and compostion of a piece must be there as well to be successful. No amount of “pushing paint around” can make up for a bad underlying drawing.
– What can one expect to see at your gallery currently being held in Vista?
My paintings in the Artbeat on Main Street gallery in Vista, CA, will be assorted scenes I’ve done, primarily in the general San Diego area, though right at the moment there are some paintings displayed done from the Northern California area. I may also do other non-cityscape or landscape type paintings. I like a variety of subject matters, foods, sports, music scenes (I’ve done sketches of the San Diego Symphony from my seat in the audience – a bit surprising to the people sitting next to me!), and others.  The struggle is to get the time to paint them all.
For more information visit William Dunn’s website:

H-Mart Grand Opening in San Diego!!!

HMART OPENS IN SAN DIEGO: A new chapter in the Asian Market Chronicles

H-Mart made it’s much anticipated Grand Opening in San Diego on November 17, 2012. The atmosphere was electric as a mass of eager shoppers awaited the opening of the doors, stretching across the large parking lot and looping a few times.  Pungmul dancers were  frolicking through the crowds, beating drums thunderously, playing horns which resonated throughout Mira Mesa. Representatives from  HMart came to commemmorate not only   their new store opening, but also their 30th anniversary of existence.

As the store doors opened, a flux of shoppers charged inside with shopping carts and a flurry of baskets. After surviving  a pit of excited shoppers poking and bumping me for room (or perhaps flirting),   I emerged and got my first glimpse of the market.  Inside a very modern market with both Korean and American products, a deli section, fresh meat, organic produce, and fish market. H-Mart San Diego has the distinct feel of an Asian Whole Foods offering rare high-end American products in addition to Asian products. In addition, there is also a small bakerycalled “Paris Baguette”, offering desserts, pastries, fresh bread and croquettes.

From my many travels across the United States, I’ve noticed that each H-Mart offers a different selection of products, bakeries and food courts making each H-Mart unique and adding a little intrigue with each store opening.

In other news, Mira Mesa is slowly becoming the new hub of Asian grocery stores in SanDiego with Lucky Seafood, Seafood City, Vinh Hung Supermarket and now H-Mart.

Now we wait to see how Korean markets like Zion Market will respond to this opening… This writer expects more competitve prices and happier customers.

 

H Mart Opens in San Diego- Mira Mesa

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샌디에고 미라메사 지역에 생긴 대형 한국 마켓- H Mart!

Huge Korean market now open in Mira Mesa, San Diego! Look at those people trotting in to the parking lot (the lot was full. So many ppl had to park elsewhere and walk over!) it was as if the street of Mira Mesa transformed into Dong-Dae-Mun of Seoul (the market/ shop area)
I’ve never seen a more festive atmosphere for a market opening…

H mart San Diego is located at
9440 Mira Mesa blvd.

More photos of kkonnect agents sweeping thru the market coming soon…

[Now Listening] “Beautiful” by 박정민 (Park Jung Min)


Park Jungmin from SS501 is back with his second single Korean album “Beautiful”! I am totally in love with the title song which is also called Beautiful. He changes styles like, five times during the course of the song. It goes from 60’s to contemporary to disco to electronic….it’s awesome!! I personally like it when songs do that. And His agency previously revealed, “Park Jung Min’s new album ‘Beautiful’ is the singer’s first self-produced album as he has directed the entire process from the whole concept to the production.”  Watching the music video, the one word I could think of to describe him is beautiful. I really love Park Jungmin~ Now that he’s done with his Japanese promotions as Romeo, he’s back into the Korean swing with “Beautiful”! Check it out and I promise you’ll love all the creative outfits he comes up with! My favorite is the disco outfit XD

Here is “Beautiful” by Park Jungmin~!  〜( ̄▽ ̄〜) (〜 ̄▽ ̄)〜