Sunhwa(bornHan Sunhwa( Hangul : 한선화; Hanja : 한善華); October 6, 1990), is a South Korean idol singer , dancer , actress and model . She is best known as the maknae and the visuals of a popular South Korean girl group Secret . She made her television debut in 2004 while participating on SBS's "Superstar Survival" as a finalist. In 2009, she made her career breakthrough as a regular cast on a variety show called " Invincible Youth ". Along with Jeon Hyosung , Jung Hana and Song Jieun , Sunhwa debuted in a four member girl group called Secret in October 2009. CNN International Seoul listed Sunhwa as one of the 9 rising 'It' stars in Korean entertainment citing her as a "multi-tasking" artist.
With her forever-innocent, beautiful face, perhaps it’s no surprise thatSeohyunwas chosen as the #1 female idol with the most ‘innocently royal’ face.The cosmetics brandRegen Cosmeticsrecently polled 592 women in the 20 to 30 age demographic, “Which girl group member has an &…
SECRET, whoare currently callingin eager fan boys across the world with “YooHoo“, recalled upon the memories of their first love onMBC FMradio show ‘Shindong’s Shimshimtapa‘.Hyosungdished on her first love sharing,“A first love is something you need to go thr…
SECRET‘sSunhwaturned into a beautiful May bride.Sunhwa posted a collage of 4 photos onto herTwitter,writing, “May’s bride~ : )“.The photos were from her photoshoot forNylonMagazine. Sunhwa was dressed up in bridal heels, veils, and a bouquet for the photoshoot. Unlike traditi…
Han Sunhwa was born in Busan , South Korea , on October 6, 1990. Sunhwa's mother gave birth to her at the young age of 20.As the eldest child, she took care of her younger siblings by cooking them food and tutoring them when both of their parents had to work. During the East Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, Sunhwa's family struggled financially. She recalled, “There was a period in 1998 when my dad was unemployed. I just happened to see my dad's diary then and I remember reading 'I'm so sorry that I can't bring home money for my wife or give my children their allowance.' I slept next to him that day but I couldn't stop crying.”Ever since she was young, she had an interest in Art and had always dreamed of becoming an artist. She took after school art programs in elementary school and managed to win several awards from various Art competitions. However, after seeing one of Boa's performances on TV, she realized her dreams lay elsewhere.She recalled, “When I was in sixth grade, I watched BoA sunbae as she performed ' Atlantis Princess ' and thought that she was just amazing. I became her fan right away. Ever since then I began to like singing and dancing. It was hard to give up my dream of becoming an artist, but watching Boa sunbae was a huge turning point for me."
Since then, she began auditioning for various recording companies.Sunhwa entered the ' SM Entertainment Youth Best Competition' but was unfortunately eliminated.In 2004, Sunhwa started auditioning at companies besides singing competitions, “During my summer break in 8th grade, I came up to Seoul by myself to audition. Back then I didn't just audition for singing, but for modeling, minor movie roles, and other various things. I'm sure many people thought that I only auditioned because I just wanted to become famous. But in my young mind, I thought if I could become famous I would be able find some way of debuting as a singer.”She then auditioned for a company in Busan but later found out that the company was a scam, "In 2005, I auditioned for a company in Busan. The company told me that I had passed and kept insisting that I should bring them money. Even at that age I could sense something wasn't right, so I took my parents to the company. We found out later that the company was a scam."In 2005, she later went on to become a finalist on a talent show called "Superstar Survival" aired on SBS along with 2PM 's Taecyeon , Lee Junho and Chansung .During the show, Sunhwa received vocal and acting training.For a country girl, everything was so fascinating and she finally began to realize that she was taking a step towards her dream.But the moment was short lived and she got eliminated from the show in the 5th episode.As for the reason, Sunhwa frankly said it was due to her lacking vocals.She confessed, “I think I really lacked in skill back then. At the time I just felt very disappointed about it, but as time went on I realized my flaws. I realized I had to work even harder.” After her elimination, Sunhwa went back to Busan right away.
Following her setback, Sunhwa went back to being an ordinary high school student. However, there was a big change in the way Sunhwa's peers looked at her.“It turns out they thought I was a JYP trainee. There were false rumors going around about me and I had no clue. It was hard to see my peers looking at me through the classroom window and hearing things like 'She's a celebrity?' It was to the point where I was afraid to go to the bathroom.”Sunhwa admitted that she became afraid of people because of the jealous stares of her peers. “At that point I really just wanted to drop out and take the GED . I think it was a really hard time for me”While Sunhwa struggled through her hardship, there was a teacher who gave her hope. Mr. Sung Yongho, in charge of the school choir, approached Sunhwa. She said, “Mr. Sung Yongho gave me a lot of chances to participate in competitions. Thanks to him, I won awards and began to enjoy my school-life." After giving her all in numerous competitions, she was admitted to Baekjae Art College with her skills alone.Up until then, Sunhwa thought she would go through an ordinary college life. However, another chance came by sheer coincidence.“A few days before my college entrance ceremony, I got a call from a agent who watched 'Superstar Survival'. We talked on the phone and they told me it was nice to see someone who was so hard working. I found out later that this person knew someone from my current company. After we talked a bit more I got recommended, and that's how I ended up in the company I'm in now.” Sunhwa admitted that one thing she regretted of becoming a trainee right after high school was not being able to drink with her friends.After many twists and turns, Sunhwa became a trainee in TS Entertainment . However, loneliness became her biggest trial while being a trainee. “People who never lived away from alone have no idea how hard it is. Eating alone was hard, and most of all, turning off the lights and going to bed alone was so scary. After living like that for a while, I became depressed and lost a lot of weight.”
In September 2009, TS Entertainment announced that they will be debuting a four member girl group in October 2009. Sunhwa, along with Jung Hana , Song Jieun and Jeon Hyosung , debuted as the group, Secret. Prior to their debut, the group was on a documentary show called "Secret Story" which chronicled their debut process.In October 2009, Sunhwa was chosen as a regular cast of a South Korean variety show calledInvincible Youth.The news of Sunhwa's selection forInvincible Youthshocked Korean viewers. Just the fact that a girl group member who hasn't even debuted yet would be selected for a variety program caused a huge sensation.Han Sunhwa was a name that no one knew. Because of this, the netizens had almost no expectations of her.
Despite this, Sunhwa played a huge role in the getting Secret known to the public with her variety skills. However, not many people are aware of the difficulties she had to go through.“I went on a variety show before I even debuted, and I got the feeling that the other girls group members didn't even know who Secret was. Being around members of SNSD , Kara , BEG , T-ara , and others, it would be a lie to say that I wasn't nervous.”And so Sunhwa had to face the variety program on her own. Though she was scared and at times felt so awkward that she wanted to run from the set, she held her ground and began to get closer to the other members.“I really didn't know anything at the time and fear was the only thing I felt. I was especially worried that they wouldn't like me. I wasn't even thinking about my broadcast time then. The only thought going through my head was, 'What can I do to get closer to the others?' and 'I hope I don't say something wrong.'”Despite all of her worries, when the first day of shooting began, Kim Shinyoung and the other members made sure to take good care of her.“Up until about a month after the first recording, the members were very nice to me but I think I was still uncomfortable. The recording began at 7 in the morning, but before I got out of the car I would always ask my manager for advice. I was like a little girl asking her mom questions before the first day of school.”However, thanks to her bright and outgoing personality, Sunhwa had no trouble hitting it off with the cast ofInvincible Youth. “As time went on I began to worry about my broadcast time. I really tried my best for my group because I was here representing all the members of Secret. Looking back now, I'm really happy and a little proud that Secret is known.”Then, a golden opportunity came to Sunhwa: the White Paper character. Viewers noticed the 'White Paper Sunhwa' and naturally began to gain interest in Secret.
Secret released their debut single " I Want You Back " in October 2009.In April 2010, Secret released their first mini album entitledSecret Timewhich spawned them the hit single " Magic " and served as their breakthrough song in South Korea.In August 2010, they released their second mini album entitled " Madonna " and the title track continued their success as it topped the Gaon Single Charts.In January 2011, the group deviated from their "sexy" and "sassy" image and released Shy Boy , a "cutesy" and retro inspired song.Although they were worried with the 180 degrees transformation, the single exceeded their expectations as the song was a huge success. Shy Boy charted strongly in digital charts and Secret won their first trophy on music shows with the song. They won a total of 5 trophies in various music shows with Shy Boy. Secret continued their success with the release of their second CD single entitled " Starlight Moonlight ".The title track became another hit for Secret as the song reached number one on the Gaon Monthly Singles Charts and won them another trophy in SBS 's Inkigayo .
The same year, Secret began a foray of Japanese activities with the release of Madonna and Shy Boy (EP) .The Japanese remake of "Madonna" debuted at number nine in the Oricon singles charts. Secret was one of the first three Korean girl groups to debut on the Oricon chart in the top 10, the others being Kara and Girls Generation being the first and second respectively. In October 2011, released their first studio album entitled " Moving in Secret " and spawned them another hit with the lead single " Love is Move .Secret released their first mini album in Japan entitled Shy Boy (EP) .The mini album debuted also at number nine on the Oricon album charts. In February 2012, Secret released their second CD single in Japan entitled " So Much For Goodbye ".
Sunhwa is the eldest child and has one brother and sister. Because both of her parents are working when they were young, Sunhwa took care of her younger siblings and was responsible for cooking them food and tutoring them when their parents are away.Sunhwa's mother had also dreamed of becoming a singer but it began to deteriorate once Sunhwa's mother gave birth to her. Through Asiae, Sunhwa shared her sentiments about her mother:
"My mom gave birth to me when she was around my age so she's very young. Maybe that's why she's understands me like a friend. I found out later that my mom had her own talents and dreams of becoming a part of the entertainment industry. But she got married too early and had me, so she just gave up on her dreams. My mom used to joke that 'Back then, my hobby was raising kids.' but that brought tears to my eyes.”
Sunhwa attended college at the Baekje Art College in Seoul, South Korea.According to MBC 'sPrestige of Lineage(가문의 내력), a documentary show that focuses on the family lineage of their guests, Han Sunhwa came from a clan consisting of distant family members who are now prominent in the entertainment industry.Sunhwa came from the Cheongju Han Family which only consists of a single clan and is "not that big in scale compared to the other well known clans".Korean entertainers in this family line includes Han Seung-yeon of Kara , Han Hye Sook, Han Jin Hee, Han Hyo Ju, Han Go Eun, and Han Eun Jung among others.The family line also produced the most Queens in the old Joseon Dynasty in Korea which lasted from 1392-1910.
Sunhwa has said from childhood that she has been influenced by pop and R&B groups such as Fin.K.L , S.E.S. and Shinhwa .Sunhwa credits BoA as one of her major influence and idol. She also credits BoA's singing and dancing as influencing her to pursue a musical career.
"White paper" or "baekji" in Korean is a term coined by netizens and the casts of Invincible Youth which is an English equivalent of the dumb blonde persona portrayed by Sunhwa in that show.Her "White Paper" role attracted Korean viewers because of its funny character.Because the "White Paper" character attracted the attention of Korean viewers, she played a huge role in increasing Secret's popularity throughInvincible Youthand other variety shows.However, the "White Paper" character was not without its flaws, she confessed “I felt sorry for my members that I became known as the "White Paper" character. I really wish I could have done it with a better character.”During an episode in Invincible Youth, the casts of the show admitted that they would do something hilarious and unusual when the set becomes boring.In numerous interviews, Sunhwa repeatedly said that the "White Paper" character was simply a character.
Kim Jieun of CNN International Seoul listed Han Sunhwa as one of the 9 Rising 'It' in the Korean Entermaint Industry. Kim wrote "She might not come off as the brightest in the business, but Han Sun-hwa does know how to gain attention with her looks and moves."Kim further added "Famous for her dumb blonde role in a now-defunct idol variety show, 20-year-old Secret member Han Sun-hwa is becoming the go-to-girl for modeling and acting. Recently chosen as the new makeup model for The Skin House, this K-Pop singer's clear skin and penchant for cute expressions are paying off in endorsement deals."
Aside from her works with Secret, she also became active in acting, modelling and frequently participating in variety shows. In 2009, she became a fixed cast on a popular variety show calledInvincible Youth. In November 2010, Sunhwa won the best wedding dress idol award on MBC‘s “Bouquet" which landed her a magazine cover feature onWedding 21's December issue.On December 28, 2010, Sunhwa made a cameo appearance on MBC’s daily sitcom,All My Loveand played as Gain's old college friend.On February 2, 2011, Sunhwa guested on the KBS’s Lunar New Year special, “Idol Health Beauty Contest“, during which she was chosen as the star with the healthiest and most beautiful skin.Sunhwa, along with many other female idols, participated in a skin evaluation by select professionals. In the end, results showed that Sunhwa’s skin was actually 10 years younger than her actual age.In April 2011, Sunhwa was chosen as the model for the cosmetics company,The Skin House.Sunhwa reportedly received a $100,000 deposit for her six month contract.Sunhwa is slated to star with Jeong Joon-ho in a new movie called "Little Hero.
Along with Secret, Sunhwa has been featured as a model for various endorsement deal such as Grand Mer(Online Fising Game), Nike, Nene Chicken, Good Day Sojuand Parkgaamong others. Along with Jeon Hyosung , Kim Himchan and Bang Yong Guk , Sunhwa was chosen as a model for KELLAN sportswear 11/12 Winter Collection in September 2011.In December 2010, Secret and the Korean Non-Life Insurance Association (KNIA) teamed up to film a Commercial Film in a Kangnam studio to share their message of concern against drunk driving.With Secret, they were also appointed as ambassadors in campaigns and events such asThe Seoul Competition Movie Content 'Streamed Seoul 2009' Goodwill Ambassador(2009),The 18th National Women's Soccer Tournament ambassador(2010),The Eco-Project environmental campaign 'URBAN FARM'(2010),The 8th International Paralympic Skills Competition(2010)and others. In December 2011, Secret were appointed as PR ambassadors for the ‘Korea Consumers Forum’.
For Sunhwa's Discography with Secret seeSecret discography.
|2012||Little Hero||Female lead (TBA)|
|2010||MBC||More Charming by the Day||as Kim Tae Hee|
|2011||MBC||All My Love||Herself||Geum Ji's friend (ep 27)|
|2007||Mnet||Dizzy Blind Date||Herself||Contestant|
|2009||Mnet||Secret Story||Herself||Regular cast|
|2009 - 2010||KBS||Invincible Youth||Herself||Regular cast|
|2010||MBC||We Got Married(NichkhunandVictoriacouple)||Herself||Guest, episode 1|
|2010||MBC||I Need a Family (Season 4)||Second Daughter||Regular cast|
|2010||SBS||'Goguma' (Historical Variety Program)||Herself||Regular cast|
|2011||SBS MTV||MTV Special :Big Pleasure Guam||Herself||With Secret|
|2011||KBS||Oh! My School||Herself||Episodes 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28|
|2011||KBS||Star Golden Bell||Herself||Episode 272, 283, 293, 304, 307|
|2011||MBC||Weekly Idol||Herself||with Secret (11-11-27)|
|2011||SBS MTV||Let Me Show||Herself||With Secret|
|2012||MBC||We Got Married (Pit Pat Shake)||Herself||Lunar New Year Special|
|2012||KBS||Happy Together 3||Herself||Starred With MBLAQ's Lee Joon|
|2010||Mnet||M! Countdown||MC||with Secret (10-08-19)|
|2010||MBC||Music Core||MC||Guest MC (10-09-11)|
|2011||Mnet||M! Countdown||MC||Guest emcee withSong Jieun(11-01-27)|
|2011||MTV||The Show||MC||Guest emcee withSunny.|
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