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Hallyu stars to light up Asian Games opening ceremony

August 27, 2014
Models pose in modernized traditional clothes, made for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, during a news conference at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in central Seoul Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Models pose in modernized traditional clothes, made for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, during a news conference at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in central Seoul Wednesday. (Yonhap)

By Nam Hyun-woo

Kim Soo-hyun and Jang Dong-gun, among other Hallyu stars, will deliver the message of “one Asia” at the opening ceremony of the upcoming Incheon Asian Games, the games’ organizing committee said Wednesday.

“The biggest message we want to deliver is ‘Here, we will see the future of Asia,” said film director and ceremony organizer Jang Jin during a news conference in Seoul to discuss the Sept. 19 event. “That means we become one as we respect and care about each other.”

He also stressed that K-pop stars, famous actors and other renowned artists would play important roles in delivering the message.

“Those large-scale ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games tended to show off how powerful the host country is with a huge amount of money spent for it, but we are different as we focus on delivering a true message in a sincere manner with our incomparably small budget,” he said.

The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium after an opening performance by boy-band EXO. Later, Poet Ko Un will recite a poem about the games and soprano Jo Su-mi will sing a song to celebrate the Asiad along with the 919-member Incheon Citizens’ Chorus.

The main part of the event will comprise four stages.

In the first, actor Jang will tell a story about a vision of Asia in ancient times. Kim, who shot to stardom all over Asia with the immense success of the SBS television drama “My Love from the Star,” will also appear in a video clip during the second stage.

Along with popular stars, the performance will involve renowned artists such as “pansori” (Korean opera) master Ahn Sook-seon, violinist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and cellist Song Young-hoon.

When the performance ends, delegations from the 45 participating countries will enter the stadium, and Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC) President Kim Young-soo will declare the start of the games.

Boy band JYJ will sing the official Incheon Games theme song, and rapper Psy will wrap up the night’s festivities.

The nation’s veteran director Im Kwon-taek, the chief director of the ceremony, also said the opening ceremony would deliver another message to developing countries in the region.

“We hope this will be a chance to spread the idea that other developing countries can also host the Asian Games successfully without spending a huge amount of money,” Im said.

At the conference, the organizing committee also said the opening ceremony had already drawn much attention and would be successful in terms of generating revenue.

“We expect to earn some 15 billion won from ticket sales for the opening ceremony,” said IAGOC Secretary General Kwon Kyoung-sang, adding that some 30 percent of the seats had already been reserved and the cheapest seats were already sold out.

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