The versatile Uhm Jung-hwa (엄정화)

Uhm Jung-hwa

A rather silly item in the Chosun Ilbo (entitled Singer’s Hotpants Inflame Cyberspace) has alerted me to an actress that I hadn’t really focused on before. She’s been in films that I’ve seen and vaguely registered as quite interesting, or films that I’ve missed and am eager to see.

Uhm Jung-hwa's publicity stunt

I haven’t heard her sing, and so can’t comment on whether the hot pants are a diversionary tactic. But she’s been going as a singer (first album released in 1993) for about as long as she’s been in the acting business (first film released in 1992).

The films she has appeared in, according to imdb, are as follows (in reverse order):

  • My Piano (2006) – for which, if you believe the Chosun Ilbo, she managed to teach herself the piano in two months and learned the Emperor Concerto from memory. I somehow think not, but if so, she’s more of a prodigy than Beethoven himself.
  • All for love (2005) (aka My Lovely Week, aka The Most Beautiful Week in My Life – 내 생애 가장 아름다운 일주일 – The film I most wanted to see in the London Korean Film Festival this year. Loosely known as the Korean Love Actually. Darcy reviews it here.
  • Princess Aurora (2005) (오로라 공주) – A stylishly filmed but ultimately rather mediocre Asia Extreme type picture, but Uhm certainly holds the attention well:

Uhm Jung-hwa as Princess Aurora

  • Mr Hong (2004) – Not a film that I know
  • Singles (2003) – Again, not one I’ve seen, but Q gives it a good write-up over at koreanfilm.org
  • Marriage is a crazy thing (결혼은, 미친짓이다) – a powerfully entertaining role-reversal romance, reviewed by Q here; and from her earlier career:
  • How to kill my wife (1994), On a Windy Day We Must Go to Apgujeong (1993) and Marriage Story (1992)

Uhm Jung-hwa: My Piano

The KBS site catalogues her K-pop career here. Eight albums and a ninth almost ready. And combining singing with film, she also appears on the My Sassy Girl soundtrack. The Chosun reports that the above marketing stunt for her new album has been criticised as “sex marketing”. While I find the shot accompanying Chosun’s feature on My Piano (left) far more appealing, it was the former article which caught my eye, I’m afraid, so such marketing works. I’m sorry I haven’t noticed her before. I’ve put All for Love at the top of my rather too big pile of DVDs to be watched, and put her 8th album on my YesAsia wishlist for when I next place an order.

Update 21 November 2006. Another publicity stunt? According to the Chosun Ilbo Ahn Sung-ki said that people didn’t know where to look…

Another Uhm Jung-hwa publicity stunt

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