SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – With American President Donald Trump now in China, having passed through South Korea on his Asia-wide tour, details of his visit – from his appearances down to what he ate – have become trending topics of interest.
When it was reported that ballad singer Park Hyo-shin, a member of the revered class of performers South Koreans have dubbed “National Singers”, was chosen to perform at the state dinner attended by Trump, reactions were mixed; a not insignificant amount of disdain was poured out online, embodied by statements like “Was choosing that song really the best you could do?”
Introduced by Park himself as “a song that carries all of our hope and resolve that we will overcome a long winter and await the coming of spring, when once again flowers will bloom”, the ballad is known to be a particular favorite of the current administration.
“Wild Flowers” was also the song of choice at the press conference marking Moon Jae-in’s first 100 days in office on August 17.
The man behind the selection on both counts was identified as Tak Hyun-min, a senior official in the secretarial office of the Blue House. Tak’s background in event management includes producing concerts for South Korean rock bands YB and Jaurim.
Just as there are two sides to every story, Tak’s choice of song and performer have also won praise from certain circles, describing “Wild Flowers” as a difficult medley that brings forth Park’s exceptional vocal range that could appeal to a new audience unused to South Korean ballads.
In the past few days, over 20,000 reaction videos to the song have been uploaded onto YouTube, a mark of recognition generally reserved for more widely popular K-pop music by idol groups like Twice and BTS.
The Blue House’s position is, “As a prominent example of K-pop ballads that has achieved mainstream popularity, the song is well-known for the meaning imbued in it, a message of beauty being manifested despite struggle and hardship. ‘Wild Flowers’ was chosen with the hopes that the U.S. and South Korean alliance can likewise blossom beautifully by overcoming difficulties like flowers in the wild.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)