“I dream of installing an extremely big electronic display in Namsan Tower (T/N: An iconic Korean landmark) and performing. The artists perform underneath the Namnsan Tower and the people of Seoul, whoever he is, from anywhere, can see the stage. I become happy just imagining it.”
The reporter just let out one question of whether “directing performances is fun,” but group JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong let his ideas forth one after the other.
Kim Jaejoong, whom this reporter met recently in a café in Shinsadong, was immersed in the fun of directing performances.
“I want to try doing a performance in which the stage and the set are made of LED and lights. I also want to do a performance in which the artist walks on the ceiling of the concert hall. I do get stressed, but there are just too many ideas that I have to pour onto the stage.”
He took on the role of the executive director for “JYJ World Tour Concert 2011” and continuing, will be in charge of the directing of the first gala show of Sohn Yeonjae, the “fairy of rhythmic gymnastics,” that will be held in Koryo University’s Hwajung Gymnasium on the 11thand 12th of next month.
In the two performances he not only directs the stage but also leads the music work, choreography, and costumes. Therefore among JYJ members and staff he is called “Kim Direct.”
JYJ has recently finished their Asia concerts that were in Thailand, Taiwan, and China. They have ahead of them the North America Tour that will circle the area, starting with the performance in Vancouver, Canada in Rogers Arena, then going to New Jersey, US in Prudential Center on the 22th, Los Angeles in Nokia Theater on the 27th, and San Jose University Event Center on the 3rd of next month.
Kim Jaejoong relayed his impressions: “Each country’s venue has its own particularities and concert regulations that create differences in conditions for production, and so I keep learning with each and every stage. There is the fun of the “trial and error” becoming reduced and the sense of satisfaction that I feel in standing with the members on the stage that I conceived is bigger than I can say.”
Jaejoong continued: “When I direct I think that “perhaps if I do it like this for this song the fans will be happier with it,” and when such thoughts hit the mark, it is such a great feeling. The members also seem satisfied with the provisions for movement and the structure of the stage that understand the minds of the singer.”
He said that the experiences that he had while he was TVXQ in standing on countless stages in Korea and Japan and such places helped enormously in directing the stage.
“I heard that Mr. Cho Yongpil (T/N: legendary Korean singer) has shown a moving stage in the current performance. We also have experience in Japan in standing on a stage that divides and combines like Transformers. It will be expensive but I want to try in the future the things that we have seen or have done in Japan.”
Kim Jaejoong, whose abilities in directing has been recognized through the JYJ World Tour, is now immersed also in Sohn Yeonjae’s first gala show. This is the first time he is directing someone else and it is also a new challenge because this is not a performance of a singer. He said that because this is an unfamiliar area he is studying and preparing meticulously.
“I looked up the videos of Russia’s rhythmic gymnastics athletes and studied a lot. I began with the work of editing and arranging the music to 2 minutes and 30 seconds with the aim of maximizing the body’s subtle movements. Today I had a meeting with the choreographers and discussed also the style of the costumes that will fit the music and the choreography, and I am satisfied with the results.”
He emphasized: “The equipments of rhythmic gymnastics are monotonous but since this is a gala show I am going to intersect jazz dance and other such contemporary choreography to focus on Sohn Yeonjae’s transformation. The point is that I listen carefully to what Miss Sohn Yeonjae wants and make her strong points come alive.”
He said that through the process of making the rough sketch that is the basic structure of the performance and then finalizing the framework and putting on the details, the fun imaginations keeps growing and producing.
“This is something that I really want to do one day. In a mid-sized theater of about 2,000 seats, on a set that has its entire stage made of LED, do a concert which shows the entirety of 30 songs utilizing the lights. In a stage that stands out to the audience in its sense of 3-D and has a color scheme that is splendid, we’d make a space of fantasy as if hypnotizing the audience. Once we get a bit older, I want to also try doing an acoustic performance on a small stage.”
He who feels interested in creating is also himself composing, arranging, and writing lyrics for the songs that JYJ displays on their stages. The songs such as “Get Out” and “In Heaven” which were new songs that were shown off on the JYJ World Tour were also written and composed by Kim Jaejoong.
He said: “As for composing, I think having studied it since I was a newcomer who just debuted is bearing its fruits. I like playing instruments so I self-studied to learn piano as well. Recently too I wrote a good song and I want to show it to the fans quickly.”
However, it is disappointing that after he stepped out of his agency SM Entertainment he cannot smoothly publicize the new songs. The broadcast companies imposed sanctions on JYJ for the reason that it is in the middle of a lawsuit with SM and the album distributing companies also disapproved of joining JYJ. Because of this, JYJ is making the songs become known through its concerts.
“Before, this was extremely distressing, but I decided to endure this situation that just cannot be helped. Right now I am using many cell phones but on one of them the start up screen is the photo I took with the five members of TVXQ. I don’t want to live as if I have forgotten the memories and recollections.”
Continuing, he smiled: “Junsu has established himself as a musical actor, and Yoochun as an actor. Right now, I find it very enjoyable that I can challenge myself, by myself, in something under the name of Kim Jaejoong. The work of directing, with which I make someone become bright with my work, is attractive. As long as I have the opportunities I am going to do my best within my capabilities.”