Super Junior’s Choi Siwon joins opening ceremony
HONG KONG (30 April 2015) Madame Tussauds Hong Kong today launched the all-new K-wave Zone as the first wave of its 15th anniversary celebration. Choi Siwon, a member of the ultra-popular pop group Super Junior, made a whirlwind visit to Hong Kong and joined Ms. Kelly Mak, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong; Ms. Becky Ip, Deputy Executive Director of Hong Kong Tourism Board; and Mr. Yu Byungchae, Consul, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea for the opening ceremony.
The K-wave Zone, where a total of seven Korean celebrities’ wax figures will be on display, is the 10th themed exhibition zone at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and also the first K-pop themed zone in Madame Tussauds museums worldwide. The first to take centre stage includes Kim Soo-hyun, lead actor of the immensely popular series My Love from the Star; U-Know Yun-ho and Max Changmin from TVXQ!, often referred as “the Kings of K-pop”; Nichkhun Horvejkul, singer and rapper from boy band 2PM; and Bae Yong-joon, best known for his role in the drama Winter Sonata. Work on Choi Siwon’s wax figure is well underway and it is expected to appear with another Korean star by the end of this year. The opening of this new zone is bound to unleash another wave of frenzy from fans the world over.
As the honourary guest of the opening ceremony, Choi Siwon flew all the way from Seoul and swept everyone off their feet with his heart-melting smile and charming personality. Choi Siwon debuted in 2005 as a member of the ultra-popular pop group Super Junior and has since soared in popularity as a singer as well as television drama and film actor.
Choi Siwon expressed his excitement: “I have always been inspired by Chinese culture and was fortunate enough to have studied Chinese history and language in Beijing. This experience had really broadened my horizon and, shortly thereafter, I was given the opportunity to participate in a number of Chinese films. I am therefore extremely honoured to be invited to this ceremony – it’s great to be in Hong Kong again. I was also delighted to visit Madame Tussauds Hong Kong’s newest K-wave Zone. The entire zone, which is set against the backdrop of Seoul’s city streets, with lighting effect showing the day and night of Myeongdong, made me feel particularly at home. I cannot wait for my very own wax replica to interact with visitors of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong in the near future.”
To ensure the wax figure would be made to perfection, a team of professional sculptors was specially dispatched from the United Kingdom to Seoul for a seven-hour sitting process with Choi Siwon. Part of the process was re-enacted at the ceremony, where the Madame Tussauds team demonstrated how Choi Siwon’s measurements of all parts were taken with great precision, as well as colour matching and contrasting of his hair and eyes. Choi Siwon recounted in amazement: “The team offered very detailed explanation and shot over 200 hundred photographs from every angle possible for reference. I was deeply impressed by the magical wax-making artistry and the professionalism of the team throughout the lengthy sitting process.”
General Manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Ms Kelly Mak commented: “The Korean wave is undoubtedly surging in Greater China and Asia Pacific, and it is making a huge impact on, if not reigning over, popular culture worldwide. From now on, those who are passionate about Korean culture won’t have to travel to Seoul to get up close to their favourite Korean celebrities and enjoy an interactive experience created by advanced technology. Central to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong’s 15th anniversary and our third expansion project, the addition of the K-wave Zone is the culmination of meticulous planning and arduous hard work that has begun several years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors for their constant support and my team for their perseverance. I also invite you to keep a close eye on our other soon-to-be-completed exhibition zone.”
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, the first permanent attraction of its kind established in Asia, holds a special place in the hearts of visitors from far and wide. Ms. Becky Ip, Deputy Executive Director of Hong Kong Tourism Board, said: “Madame Tussauds Hong Kong has always been one of our closest partners. With the K-wave trend surging across the globe, we believe the new zone will draw more visitors to the attraction. We also look forward to the opening of other new zones, and even more dynamic and unforgettable experiences that the expanded attraction will offer.”
Mr. Yu Byungchae, Consul, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, considered the K-wave Zone as the key to a better understanding of Korean pop culture: “Located in one of the world’s most culturally diversified metropolises, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong has established itself as a star-studded hub of international experience with its line-up of 100 wax figures sculpted in the likeness of world-famous celebrities. Set against the backdrop of Seoul’s vibrant streets, the K-wave Zone not only embraces the unprecedented K-pop culture, but also perfectly captures the essence the city’s essence and enables visitors to gain a more dynamic understanding of Korea. We hope that the K-wave Zone will elevate Korean culture to the next level, and we also wish Madame Tussauds Hong Kong every success in the future.”