[by Nawael Khelil / Photos by Choi Seung Gwang]
Music. This word represents the link between the two things we are talking about today.
First, Vienna, city of Arts, capital of Austria, owns one of the best philharmonic orchestras of the planet. The magical atmosphere of its street, the beauty of its architecture and the profound history heritage that define that city made it the ideal place to shoot a pictorial with our second subject. Kim Jae Joong, singer, actor, designer. Artist. One of the most talent-wise acknowledged musicians of the country flaunts a 10-years-and-more career in the music industry not only as a singer but also as a composer. Commonly considered as a Prince, the representative of Korea’s ‘flower boy’ dynasty was meant to wander around the streets of the Imperial City.
Exploring such a beautiful city with such a beautiful man does not fit in the definition of the concept of ‘routine’. You would expect such an important character to consider traveling as a very common thing, but in Kim Jae Joong’s heart remain a lot of curiosity and interest for discovering new places, things and people. However, the star does it with more style than the common run of people. With a mustard VanHart di Albazar long coat worn on a checked suit by Antony Morato and a UNIQLO turtleneck cashmere sweater, the luxurious bag designer perfectly embraces the nobility of Vienna and the luxury of its ornamented Opera houses and palaces.
After leaving TVXQ, the top-star group he debuted with, he formed JYJ with two of his colleagues and best friends (Park Yoo Chun and Kim Jun Su). Times were hard as a lot of bans fell from TV stations who wouldn’t let the three singers make any appearance. His image was never too smooth, never too bold. But Kim Jae Joong was known as a sincere and authentic man who, regardless of what others can think of him, would try his best to achieve great things without denying his true personality. But through acting, he managed to get back to the screen.
“The reason why I started to act may be different from other actors’. It was not only because I really wanted it, but more because this was the only way for me to appear on TV. But I feel like it’s something that, once you tried, you can only enjoy more and more.”
As an actor whose skills are now recognized not only by the regular public but also by professionals and as a talented singer, Kim Jae Joong would be the perfect pick for musicals. However, even he’s thought about it already, he doesn’t seem to be interested in getting on the big stage for now.
“I know that 30 is not a young age but I feel like, on a life span, it’s still pretty young. (laughs) I want to try as many things as possible as long as I have the opportunities. As for musicals, I feel like I could always try when I will turn 40 or 50, I still have time. I need to focus on my current projects for now.”
Amongst his latest activities, in terms of music, Kim released two solo projects. One mini-album and one full-length item that were both acclaimed all around the world (they reached first place of several rankings in various countries). The characteristic of his solo music would be the genre. As a fan of rock (he was influenced by Japanese rock, his role-model as a singer would be Hyde, of mythic band L’Arc En Ciel), he poured his knowledge and passion into two tiny CDs to express his personality.
When you think rock, you think leather and black. A week in Kim Jae Joong’s fashion life would not be complete without those two conditions. He brought his own designs with him to Vienna – his brand, MOLDIR, is a luxury crocodile leather bag brand – and paired them with contemporary outfits. 30 years old may not sound that young, that’s not the message that he seems to be sending in a PERDRE HALEINE leather bomber jacket. Whether he smiles or not, his aura has something timelessly innocent.
Innocent, that’s how he describes himself when he talks about love and relationship. What he looks for in a woman is someone sincere, focused on her needs and ambition yet able to open her heart to him. A woman who can share and exchange with him about their feelings to make the relationship evolve and grow deeper. He’s not about plastic: “My ideal type can’t be defined by ‘cute’ or ‘sexy’. But as I am relatively skinny, I would like my girl to have, more than volume, at least flesh. (laughs).”
Despite his great use of SNS, Kim Jae Joong remains someone very mysterious, almost distant. Some would even say ‘cold’. This prejudice –because this is one- takes root in his Prince-like appearance. We may never be royals, he looks like he is. With his best friend, Jang Geun Suk, they somehow represent the Royal Family of the Korean Entertainment Industry. Especially looks-wise. Whether he’s in a MASNADA by Artage long black coat or in a HSH by Kud checked suit, he shines and exudes something intangible, undefinable with an other word than ‘magical’.
And who thinks ‘Prince’ thinks ‘coach’. As a male and modern version of Cinderella (Kim Jae Joong started from the bottom (now he’s here) and escalated every ladder of the social and artistic scale by his efforts and patience), he embarks on board of a traditional Viennese coach and tours the city next to an adorable local coachman (his favorite spot was the Schönbrunn Palace).
Sat at a terrace, drinking an espresso con panna (the Viennese typical coffee drink), enjoys the European kind of breaks. He took the habit of reading when he was dealing with insomnia troubles. He used to share his favorite books and quotes with his fans, inspiring millions of young people out there and spreading Korean literature to new horizons.
What makes Kim Jae Joong special is also his ability to make great things out simplicity. Less is more, as they would say, is a concept that fairly suits the artist as his beauty enlightens and turns every outfit and place into a tiny star. We know suits are a man’s best asset but it doesn’t necessarily make it easier for them to deliver. Is it because of his strong will, his passion or his aura, the singer pulled off a white BATON suit in an ordinary room like it was a crown. What could have represent purity ended up flirting with sensuality, and even the pink walls couldn’t stand in the way of his manliness.
Kim Jae Joong’s princely visit in Vienna with bntnews ended after a few days but what we can all remember of this trip is that new experiences – travel-wise, culture-wise and human-wise – are what build us and will make us leave a trace on the planet. Each step that you do, each word that you share, each book that you read has an impact on yourself, then on others, and on the whole world. Like Kim, who does his best to extend his mind and experiences spectrum every day, let’s recognize the chance that we have to live in such an open world and seize every single opportunity that we are offered. This is how you build not only a dream, but also reality.
(photos by bntnews DB)
[INTERVIEW] Kim Jaejoong, “To Be Honest, I Became An Actor Because …” via International BNT News
[NEWS] JYJ’s Jaejoong awes with his luxurious pictorial in Vienna for ‘International bnt’ + BTS clips via Allkpop