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[Drama 2017] Saimdang, Light's Diary 사임당, 빛의 일기

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"Saimdang, the Herstory" Song Seung-heon turns into the 'Joseon Gatsby'


Actor Song Seung-heon is playing the role of Lee Gyeom, a genius painter in the new drama "Saimdang, the Herstory".

Lee Gyeom is the Joseon version of "The Great Gatsby".

"Saimdang, the Herstory" is a fusion historical drama about a Korean art history teacher who coincidentally finds the diary of Saimdang (Lee Yeong-ae) and solves her secret.

Song Seung-heon takes on the role of Lee Gyeom who is a free spirit from head to toe but doesn't negotiate with injustice.

Lee Gyeom is also the owner of an art gallery in the Joseon times and the head of a painting bureau and he is a Joseon renaissance in painting, writing, a Korean musical instrument and dance.


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"Saimdang, the Herstory" Lee Young-ae kneels and cries


A teaser was released.

The fourth teaser of the new SBS drama "Saimdang, the Herstory", drew attention with force. Lee Young-ae (Seo Ji-yoon) is seen begging Choi Jong-hwan (Min Jeong-hak) on her knees as to not be replaced as a lecturer.

Then she's seen drinking pack Soju on the streets of Italy when she discovers Saimdang's diary and is taken to the past as if pulled into it.

Park Hye-soo (young Saimdang) and Yang Se-jong (young Lee Kyeom) meet coincidentally until the scene changes and Park Hye-soo seems gaunt while Yang Se-jong is calling her dearly.

Lee Young-ae narrates, "The poem that changed my life in an instant is still here" and she is screaming in sorrow.

Meanwhile, "Saimdang, the Herstory" is replacing "The Legend of the Blue Sea" on the 26th.


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Thank you for new stills, @LoveBangWon, @Chellsee,
So nice to see all of the characters being unveiled.
I wonder why they cut off Yang se-Jong's arms in his character poster....?

Thank you for Chinese ad. So - it will be showing in China after all?

Thank you for teasers 3, 5 @Vo Ki Trieu


Amid THAAD spat, 'Saimdang' director hopes to bring the show to China

Director of the highly-anticipated Lee Young-ae drama "Saimdang, Memoir of Colors' on Tuesday asked Beijing to approve his show's Chinese broadcast amid a reported Korean culture ban sparked by diplomatic tension between the two countries.

"About the subject of simultaneous airing in China, its true that Korea-China (cultural) relation was better before (the Korean pop culture ban). But the fact is 'Saimdang' approval (by regulators) remains pending," Director Yoon Sang-ho said during a press conference at SBS TV headquarters in western Seoul.

Under Chinese government regulations, all dramas have to be screened by authorities prior to airing. 


"I think it will be best if a good decision could be reached so that 'Saimdang' can be enjoyed in Korea, China as well as Southeast Asia at the same time," said Yoon.

"Saimdang" is one of the most anticipated period dramas this year. The show starring Lee Young-ae was initially set to air last fall with simultaneous broadcast on China's Hunan TV.

But the show was pushed back to January 2017 amid rumors on China's tacit ban on Korean TV shows, an apparent protest towards Seoul's decision to adopt a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on the Korean Peninsula.

SBS TV was hoping for the ban to be rescinded in the meantime but as of now chances look slim. The show is set to go on air on Jan. 26 in Korea. 

Korean drama fans in China had been looking forward to the series particularly because it features Lee from "Daejanggeum," which enjoyed pan-Asia popularity.

As for the work itself, "Saimdang" centers on Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), Korea's maternal icon who raised renowned Korean Confucian scholar Yulgok of the Joseon Dynasty, who was also proficient in painting and poetry like her son. 

The series has a nonlinear narrative in which Lee plays both Shin and an art history instructor in the modern era. South Korean actor Song Seung-heon, portrays Shin's Joseon Dynasty admirer Lee Gyeom.

Screenwriter Park Eun-ryung said the nonlinear story was inspired by a memoir written by an anonymous widow from the Poonghyang Cho family in the 18th century and Hollywood movie "Interstellar," which incorporates quantum physics to explain the plot's time travel element.

The work will have a liberal, feminist edge to it, portraying the legendary maternal figure in a more three-dimensional light. 

"According to my research Saimdang wasn't referred as 'Yulgok's mom' back then. She was known as the genius artist Shin," Park explained.

"How could a Joseon-era working mom, raising seven kids while pursuing her art, always remain calm and not lose herself at all times?" said Park, adding that themes explored in the show will come across as rather contemporary and relatable to viewers.


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Director Of “Saimdang Light’s Diary” Hopes To Score Like “Descendants Of The Sun”

saimdang light's diary descendants of the sun

The main producing director of “Saimdang Light’s Diary,” Yoon Sang Ho, revealed his thoughts about pre-producing the entire drama in the same way “Descendants of the Sun” was made.

“Many people had doubts about ‘Descendants of the Sun’ before it became a big hit. Personally, I think it’s really well-made, and I’m envious of the drama for being a positive precedent for pre-produced dramas,” he said.

He continued, “It’s good news for us though. I’d like our drama to do as well as ‘Descendants of the Sun’ did, and hopefully pre-produced dramas will not disappear from the Korean drama industry. But it’s hard to say how our drama will do compared to ‘Descendants of the Sun.'”

“Saimdang Light’s Diary” is a fusion historical drama that reinterprets the life of Saimdang, a female artist from the Joseon era. It jumps back and forth from the present to the past as part-time teacher Seo Ji Yoon finds Saimdang’s diary by coincidence and journeys through time to reveal the secrets entwined with it.

“Saimdang Light’s Diary” will air on January 26 as the follow-up for “The Legend of the Blue Sea.


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Long-awaited ‘Saimdang’ to air first in Korea


The much-anticipated period drama series “Saimdang, Memoir of Colors” is set to begin airing on Korean broadcasting network SBS next Thursday. 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the show‘s writer and director said that the goal of airing the series simultaneously in China has been thwarted.

Since August, Beijing has reportedly been banning Korean actors from starring in Chinese productions and restricting the import of Korean content, moves allegedly arising from diplomatic tension between the two countries.

“Saimdang,” originally planned to air in Korea and China in November, has been affected as well. The show has yet to be approved for broadcast in China, and will air only in Korea for the time being, said director Yoon Sang-ho during a press conference held at SBS headquarters in Mok-dong, Seoul.

“Korea and China’s (entertainment industries) had a great relationship, but attitudes have turned cold because of political issues,” Yoon said, referring to the announcement last July of the Korea-US decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in Korea. China is opposed to the planned deployment. 

“China still hasn’t announced the results of the review of ‘Saimdang.’ It would be great if China agrees to the show’s airing and allow it to air there simultaneously, but we haven’t gotten a response yet.”

Starring actress Lee Young-ae, who returns to the screen 12 years after rising to international fame through 2003 series “Dae Jang Geum,” “Saimdang” has received much attention since its early filming stages.

The series is produced by Creative Leaders Group Eight, known for such hit Hallyu dramas as “Boys Over Flowers” and “Princess Hours.” 

“Saimdang” was produced at a cost of 21.6 billion won ($18.5 million) and its Chinese rights were sold to the Hong Kong-based Emperor Entertainment Korea for $267,000 per episode, surpassing the previous record set by the 2015 smash hit drama series “Descendants of the Sun,” which sold at $250,000 per episode. Rights have also been sold to US-based Netflix for $20,000 per episode, and in Japan for $90,000 per episode. 

Last March, market watchers estimated up to 34.7 billion won in sales of merchandise and products placed in the show, and profits of some 13.1 billion won. Many expected the show would follow in the steps of “Dae Jang-geum,” which reportedly reached up to 90 percent viewership in Iran and 99 percent in Sri Lanka. The impact of “Dae Jang-geum” on the Korean economy was estimated at 111.9 billion won. 

Distribution rights to “Saimdang” have reportedly been bought by companies in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. 

‘Original working mom’ 

The series centers on the life and love of Joseon-era artist and poet Shin Saimdang (1504-1551). Though traditionally hailed as an icon of a good, wise wife and mother, scriptwriter Park Eun-ryeong said she discovered evidence of a more progressive woman during her research.

“She was not primarily known as a ‘good mother’ then, but as an artist, in particular as a prominent landscape painter. That image (of motherhood) was created after the 18 century with the rise of neo-Confucian values.”

Park said she wanted to explore the different aspects of Shin as a woman.

“A working mom and an artist, raising seven children ... trying to realize her art and take charge of running the household. I imagined there would be a lot of emotions brimming underneath.” 

“Saimdang” finished shooting last May and has been awaiting release ever since. It was shot entirely in advance, unusual for Korean dramas, where the norm is to shoot episodes as the show is airing. 

Yoon trumpeted the advantages of completing production ahead of a series’ launch and urged producers to invest in the process. 
“It allowed us to plan out the story’s larger picture, and materialize that story in a more stable setting,” he said. 

“We were able to focus on the quality of the series. It was not a set where people were up all night filming and editing. Not all of the budget went into making fancy scenes, but it was used in a reasonable way to allow the staff to work in a truly healthy environment.”


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I'm quite excited after hearing the news that this drama has been at least partially shot in Italy: Spain and other countries seem to be trendy among Korean directors, but as far as I know, only Iris was shot in my country so far. I've also read that someone from Tamra, the Island (that I adored) is involved, so I'm merrily joining the hype! I've decided that this is going to be my next drama after The Legend of the Blue Sea and Goblin. ^.^

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Will "Defendant" and "Saimdang: Light's Diary" beat "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" and "The Legend of the Blue Sea"?


A new breeze is taking over SBS. "Defendant" and "Saimdang: Light's Diary" are replacing "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" and "The Legend of the Blue Sea". Will the new dramas maintain the reputation their successors leave behind?

***skip unrelated***

- "Saimdang: Light's Diary" Lee Young-ae, back for the first time in 12 years

Lee Young-ae is coming back with a new SBS drama called "Saimdang: Light's Diary" for the first time in 12 years since "Dae Jang-geum". She takes on two roles.

"Saimdang: Light's Diary" is about a history of art lecturer named Seo Ji-yoon (Lee Young-ae) who discovers Saimdang's diary and reveals the truth behind it. She co-stars with Song Seung-heon in the role of Lee Kyeom, the Joseon version of "The Great Gatsby".

Lee Young-ae takes on the role of Seo Ji-yoon and Saimdang. Seo Ji-yoon is a lecturer and she lives life to the fullest. She is a super mother who is bold and carefree at the same time.

Song Seung-heon plays Lee Kyeom whose known Saimdang since they were young. He's had eyes for her and only her and is covered in artistic spirit from head to toe.

The drama has been pre-produced and the first episode is due. The plan for simultaneous release in China has fallen through because of the SAAD issue but there are plans for a second "Dae Jang-geum".


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Oh!K brings you Saimdang – Soulmates Across Time

This January 26, Oh!K brings you Saimdang -Soulmates Across Time, starring Lee Young-Ae, famous from the 2003 award-winning television series, Jewel in the Palace alongside Song Seung Heon (Autumn In My Heart, East of Eden).



Saimdang, set in both Joseon era and the present day, is a drama that combines fact and fiction, telling the story of the unconventional 16th century Korean woman. Lee Young-Ae plays modern day Seo Ji Yun – a university Korean art history lecturer and mother of an eight year old son. Her life gets difficult when mishaps kept on happening to her and she comes across an old book which suspected to be Saimdang’s memoirs, in Italy. Engrossed in the book, she gets swept away in the whirlwind of destiny.


Lee Young-Ae plays both Seo Ji Yun and Shin Saimdang

Young-Ae also played Saimdang, the artist with an extraordinary sense of color, and also the woman who writes the Sujinbang Diary, which was discovered by Seo Ji Yun.

Song Seung Heon plays Lee Gyeom, a carefree spirit who never stopped loving Saimdang and devotes himself to the women he loves.


Song Seung Heon as the painter Lee Gyeom

K-popped! thanks to Oh!K had the opportunity to catch Saimdang a week before the first broadcast on television. Fans of period dramas, we were excited to catch the drama and the fact that it stars both Lee Young-Ae and heartthrob Song Seung Heon, is a plus. The 1st episode starts with setting the story line for the female lead, modern day Seo Ji Yun whose having a not so perfect life. Her life crumbles even more after a series of events starts unraveling. Then a mysterious book shows up while she was in Italy, which piqued her interest. What’s going to happen to Seo Ji Yun? How did she get transported to Joseon era and meets Lee Gyeom? Find out what happens with us, this Thursday, January 26 on Oh!K (Astro Channel 394) at 9PM. As a bonus, it will be double episodes, simultaneously with Korea, yeay!




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