HoYeon Jung watched her follower count jump from 400,000 to 15 million in just three weeks. But before she was a globally recognised star, HoYeon had taken herself to audition for Korea’s Next Top Model at age 19, where she placed 2nd. . 6 months later she signed with a New York agency and became one of the most recognizable models South Korea has ever had. But as is the case with many models, the rise and fall was rapid, and soon HoYeon was getting less and less call backs. So, she began acting. It was in January of 2020 that Hwang Dong-hyuk, the 50-year-old South Korean writer-director who was casting for Squid Games, got a video from HoYeon, reading three scenes as Sae-byeok. The rest is history, the kind of history that gets you an #Emmys nomination for ‘Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ for Squid Games. Watch how HoYeon went from an international model to one of the biggest breakthrough stars of 2021.
7 The BTS A.R.M.Y. are a dedicated fanbase that gets shit done. Powerful enough to smash music industry records, pool money to plant 33,000 trees in Peru, and matched the band's $1 Million donation to Black Lives Matter. It’s a phenomenon that transcends different cultures on a global scale with “self love” at the core of what they believe in. If you want to support the troops, all you have to do is join the A.R.M.Y.
Fails an audition, consults a fortune-teller. The next time she performed, legend Danny Im said of her performance: “She seemed promising and was full of confidence. I will never forget the moment when she jumped off the stage, right in front of my eyes. I realized that only the ones with enough bravery and confidence can do that.” This Icons we celebrate Lisa, one fourth of Kpop’s biggest group Blackpink and the biggest Kpop idol from Thailand.
Who is Jack Ma? He is known as one of the wealthiest tech giants of the world after founding multiple Chinese companies like Alibaba, Alipay, and Taobao. But what people don’t know, is that Jack was rejected from everything he applied to, including 10 rejections from Harvard. How did this man, who knows nothing about tech and started his career as a tour guide, go on to have the biggest public offering in history at $21B USD..? Watch to find out.
When Faye Wong began her career, she was restricted to drive her creative career the way she wanted. She would move out of Asia to New York out of frustration, but Faye would return home to dominate the Canto-pop scene with a brand new attitude. This is the true story behind the ‘Diva of Asia', who would retire at 35 to play mahjong.
Tony Leung is considered Asia’s most successful actor. Born in Hong Kong, Tony grew up without a father, he found refuge in Hong Kong cinema during his youth. Connecting with his emotions through cinema would end up paying off for Tony, who would take up acting because his friend, Stephen Chow, told him to audition. This is the story of an acting legend: “the man who can speak with his eyes.”