Ku Hye Sun’s Interview (Elle Girl)
Actress-author-artist-composer-director Ku Hye Sun sat down for an interview with Elle Girl. Translated excerpts are beyond the jump.
Elle Girl (EG): You surprised [everyone] by publishing a novel this spring; this time it’s drawings. What are you feelings about opening your first art exhibition at La Mer Gallery?
Ku Hye Sun (KHS): I’ve thought about it from awhile ago, but I didn’t know that it would be exhibited like this. After receiving the proposal from WITH (YG Entertainment’s charity campaign), I figured it would be more meaningful to do it [like this] than by myself and proceeded quickly.
EG: I’m aware that you dreamt about entering an Arts high school back in your schooling days. How did you become familiar with pictures?
KHS: I liked drawing pictures since I was young. And my friends and I would also paint murals on our neighbourhood walls. But my skills weren’t particularly outstanding, just to the level that my teacher would occasionally post a picture I drew in art class on the classroom wall. The friends I hung out with were so multi-talented that I never thought that I grew up without thinking that I was special. But now I often hear the words, ‘Why do you do so many [activities]?’
EG: You seem like the type of student who is diligent and continually trying to learn something.
KHS: Not at all. My mother always worried about my laziness. However, I’m the type that when I decide to do something, I push forward in a short amount of time. If it took me 100 days to draw pictures, I’m actually the type to play for ninety-nine days and concentrate for one day to draw. My method is to push when the feeling comes.
EG: I heard that you completed your novel Tango while filming Boys Over Flowers. Does exceptional strength flow when you push ahead with something? Your first novel was received quite positively [considering it was done under those circumstances].
KHS: Many have asked the question, “Why is Yeon Yee (Tango’s female protagonist) so popular?”
EG: I concur. She is involved with three men.
KHS: It’s not so much that Yeon Yee is popular, but that there are phases in life when lots of toxic guys approach. And if everyone looks carefully around them, there are relationships with the opposite sex that came about with various emotions. Or please just think of it as a fantasy (laughter). I feel a progressively greater sense of responsibility every time I do something. The thought that even if the first one is unskilled, the next one has to be better. At least so that people who are watching (reading) don’t feel uncomfortable.
EG: If one looks at the back cover, there are words of recommendation from CEO Yang Hyun Suk (of YG Entertainment) and Representative Jung Seung Hye (of Morning, a film production company). Who are those two people to you?
KHS: You know publishers like it if a famous person writes the words of recommendation. Although I have many famous friends, by nature I’m not good at asking for favours. It feels burdensome to receive something for free. [With this personality,] the people that I feel most comfortable asking for favours are my family and President Yang Hyun Suk. Meanwhile, Representative Jung Seung Hye is like the manager of my life. She is the one who encouraged me to write and put me in touch with a publisher. She wrote a recommendation even before I requested one.
EG: This is sad to talk about, but Jung Seung Hye passed away this past May. Your sadness must have been great considering your special relationship; has your heart recovered now?
KHS: There were articles that said I collapsed from exhaustion at the viewing, but I’ve never collapsed. Strangely, there are many false reports such as this about me. Of course I did cry a lot. But it was a situation that had been forecast to some degree, and I didn’t think it was appropriate to sob impudently in front of the person who has left us. My heart was at peace to some degree because I was able to watch over her path to the very end.
EG: I heard that she helped you film The Madonna (유쾌한 도우미). Thanks to her, you uniquely made your [big] screen debut as a director rather than an actress.
KHS: I’m just one of countless people who dream of movies. I wrote the scenario, worked on the script, and conceived the background music on my own because it was fun, but I was lucky to get the opportunity to turn it into a movie, book, and soundtrack. To be honext, there’s not a lot that I know about the technical side of movie[-making]. I’m studying this and that, but people around me have actually told me not to learn it. That [if I do], I’ll try to do everything by myself (laughter).
EG: There were some questions raised whether the reason you were pursuing such diverse activities is because you’re not fulfilled living as an actress.
KHS: By nature, my personality isn’t satisfied with anything. Except for when I eat delicious food and say, “Ah, I’m full!” I think that no matter what I do, there’s no such thing as 100% happiness. To be honest, I’m not sure of myself. A person’s emotions are countless, change everyday, and differ depending on who you’re with. Anyhow, I do think I’m an interesting character.
EG: Film, book, picture…. I’m curious about the next project we’ll see you in.
KHS: There are plans for an album to be released. You could say that it’s a new age record; I did all of the composing and some famous musicians play the music. There’s some orchestra music, and we’re going to put in one song. (KP’s note: I believe by song she means a song with lyrics, as opposed to just instruments.) This record has been in the making for two years and the compositions were finished last year. The book and exhibition were also in the works since awhile ago, but all of the finished products were unintentionally released one after another.
EG: You composed the theme song for The Madonna. How did you come to learn composition?
Other people think that I received the benefit of private education, but our household wasn’t that well-off. However, I was heavily influenced by good teachers when I was young. The instructor at the piano academy I attended during elementary school particularly liked me, so she taught me piano at practically no cost. [She/He] let me come play the piano any time and guided me in chord, composition, and voice training.
EG: Do you receive counsel about your music from CEO Yang Hyun Suk?
KHS: Yes. I call anytime and beg, “I created a song today; please listen to it once”. But I can’t understand the music that the president makes, and [he] can’t understand the music that I make. He says, “I don’t know because it’s too difficult”, about an instrumental piano piece that I made. So he left us in charge of this album.
EG: ‘Us’ is referring to yourself and the staff, right? It seems like you enjoy working with lots of different people.
KHS: You feel more alive that way. Whatever entertainers do, they are left on their own for the results (judgment). Even when filming a drama with lots of staff, there are many cases where the criticism is just towards the actors. Because of the public eye, there’s no choice but to hide yourself. But that’s not necessary when doing other projects. I can say my opinion without discretion and argue if something doesn’t suit me. And then when the finished product comes out, we’re joyful together.
EG: There are rumours of misunderstanding that these other kinds of activities are for marketing a more elite image.
KHS: That’s definitely not true. I’m actually very ordinary. I’m the most lacking out of all of my friends. Nonetheless, I’m simply jumping into things to enjoy life without being too cautious of judgment [now]. People around me tell me often, ‘Why are you being brainwashed by society? Don’t live so modestly.’
EG: Writing literature, drawing pictures, and making music – what goal are you working towards while doing all of this?
KHS: I have no greed to earn a lot of money or attain high status. I dream of an ordinary life of barbequeing meat and drinking beer with my friends at a house with a yard. Paintings and music are [...] not my life goals. Although as I do it, my greed (ambition) increases, I try not to forget my original purpose at those times. I think I’ll become unhappy if I get too attached.
Source: Elle Girl