Friday, July 13, 2012

Hwang Jin-Yi: Korean TV Series Reviewed

The Korean TV series “Hwang Jin Yi” is based on the life of a famous 16th-century Gisaeng, who is admired in her time with her exceptional beauty and extraordinary intelligence. The Korean hit series depicts the life, struggles and pursuit of Hwang Jin Yi, in perfection of her art.

“Flowers that Understand”, this is what the representation of Giseang in the old age. Why? For a simple reason, it’s because of their intelligence and indigenous beauty.

Gisaeng emerged in the Goryeo Dynasty and they are like Japan’s Geisha. They were trained and attained knowledge in arts, music and poetry. Lee Don-soo, an art historian, insists that original Gisaeng are not sexual objects but rather “entertainers who had intelligence”. Their task is to entertain kings and aristocrats but often ignored because of their inferior social status. Sometimes they help in the army bases offering medical care and needle works.

A Gisaeng’s life became an inspiration for the women to stand up in the dominant world of men and showcase the skills they have. Nowadays, Gisaeng are known not just of beauty but examples of women strength. That strength became the pillars of today’s women to focus more on careers and rise in business and politics.

Ha Ji-won as Hwang Jin Yi, the South Korean actress who played the role of Hwang Jin Yi (Ha Ji-won) was pleased to portray her character in this TV series. And she quoted “I respect Hwang Jin-Yi myself and envy her for having such talent and strength”. She said that Korean women hoping to gain assertiveness in their society found a role model in the famous Gisaeng.

To prepare for the series, Ji-won said that she spent time in learning the traditional dances, string instruments and drum playing. In one scene, she said, she walked on a high rope without using a double or safety harness. Challenging indeed!

This Korean drama gained popularity and made an impact to many and an interest about the Gisaeng grew more.

You can download and watch the full episodes of Hwang Jin-Yi at

1 comment:

Lilian Lee said...

Beautiful and talented Ha Ji Won will receive the Best Actress award at the 16th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival on 19 July 2012...Bravo!