Ji Chang Wook made his first official visit to Singapore yesterday (6 December) as the new brand ambassador of Japanese soap brand Shokubutsu, one of several brands under Lion Corporation.
After landing in Singapore at 6am, Ji Chang Wook spent a busy afternoon with fans and the media at a press conference followed by two fan meetings back-to-back.
“I haven’t done many activities in Singapore, so I’m very thankful that you came to look for me and welcomed me here. I hope I will be a suitable ambassador for Shokubutsu,” Ji Chang Wook said at the press conference held at the Westin Hotel at 2pm.
Asked about what he thinks about Singapore, he said, “It’s very cold in Korea now, but it’s warm here, so I’m enjoying it.”
Ji Chang Wook said he has just finished filming his movie in South Korea, and is now filming a drama in China. In fact, he almost could not make it to Singapore because of his schedule. He shared about his experience at the airport the previous night, “The movie filming ended a little late, so I almost could not catch the plane. It would have been disastrous…I really ran (to catch the plane).”
Since starring in the family drama “Smile Donghae” in 2010, Ji Chang Wook has been associated with a thoughtful, caring, warm and kind image, or “暖男” in Chinese (literally “warm man” in English), which is why Shokubutsu decided to pick him as their brand ambassador.
When asked what he thinks is the reason for him having such an image, he said, “Actually, I think my dramas have a big influence on this. If you protect or love someone in a drama, the audience will probably think ‘Ah, that person has a warm and gentle image’. I think that’s the reason.”
He also jokingly made a request to the translator, “Please introduce me as a warm and gentle man.”
In line with the brand’s products, it was inevitable that he would be asked questions related to showering.
Ji Chang Wook said that showering and lying down after a hard day’s work is very relaxing for him. When asked if he spends a long time in the shower, he sought to clarify with the emcee what is her definition of a “long shower”, which she said is anything longer than five minutes.
Ji Chang Wook replied while laughing, “Five minutes?! Don’t most people take longer than five minutes?”
Asked to pick a shower scene he has filmed that has left the deepest impression on him, he chose the scene in “Empress Ki” where he had to hide Seungnyang in his bath while pretending like nothing had happened. This scene was followed by a kissing scene underwater, which he did not find embarrassing, but found it novel instead since it was his first time filming such a scene.
Ji Chang Wook was then asked to rate his own attractiveness on a scale of one to 10. He jokingly said this was a question where he couldn’t give himself a score that was too high or too low. So he went with a score of 7.5.
As for his activities in 2016, he said, “Firstly, my movie will be released and I’ll also continue to work on shows. There are no concrete plans for music yet; I’ll continue to hold concerts and fan meetings. Because I like music, I’ll probably be doing more of it.”
After the press conference, he proceeded to meet fans at a private fan meeting, also held at the Westin Hotel. The private fan meeting was open only to the 80 winners of a contest conducted by Shokubutsu; each winner was awarded two tickets. Dressed in a casual T-shirt, the fan meeting was also a casual affair with no songs or pyrotechnics — just interactive activities with fans.
Ji Chang Wook did three rounds of lucky draws to choose fans to come on stage. From trying to pour out 126ml of soap (126ml because the event was on Dec 6) to guessing the correct soap scent, there were various opportunities for fans to get close to interact with him.
After the hour-long event, he was quickly whizzed off to Suntec City Mall for his public appearance scheduled at 5pm, where hundreds of fans were already waiting for him at the packed atrium. Similarly, fans were chosen to go on stage for interactive activities and photo-taking with him.
When asked how he will be spending Christmas this year, he said wish he could spend time with his loved ones, but he will likely be filming in Shanghai.
While it seems like Ji Chang Wook will not be celebrating Christmas this year, fans who got to meet him yesterday definitely got an early Christmas present.
Report and photos by Gabby. More photos, videos and fan account will be released later.
*If you find the quotes in my article different from what is published by other media, that’s because I’m translating his words directly based on what he said, rather than quoting what the translator said in English.