Maybe because she had already gone through the scary unnie concept with 2NE1 before, Park Sandara remains calm and collected as she goes through today’s photoshoot alone.
“Our fans may be shocked by the outcome of the photos that will be taken today, hopefully, it’s the good kind of shock, as compared to the shock that they had because of the bansak hair photoshoot from last year.”
She says that today, 2NE1’s Sandara Park, who is full of energy and plays like a naughty kid on stage, takes off her clothes and makes way for Park Sandara, who dons white, feminine clothing, standing alone in front of the camera.
Park Sandara became Sandara Park when she appeared in <Human Theater>, which chronicled her life in the Philippines, with the broadcast title, “My Name is Sandara Park,” allowing the entire country to know her name as Sandara Park; she got used to it until she became 2NE1’s Sandara Park.
She reveals, “Nowadays, even I myself feel awkward when someone calls me Park Sandara instead of Sandara Park. It sounds weird to me.”
In fact, being 2NE1’s Sandara Park was already a challenge. It was about 9 years ago, when she was just 21. Leaving the Philippines at that time when she was known as the nation’s little sister, Sandara Park had to leave behind that identity and take on the status of being a trainee as she boarded a plane to South Korea alone.
“I was young at that time. Nowadays, I don’t get to travel back and forth a lot anymore. Because I received a lot of love in the Philippines, my heart ached a lot when I left; but I had a challenge that I wanted to face in Korea. And so without fear, I came here to fulfill my dream of joining YG Entertainment.”
Last year, Sandara Park tried out the bansak hairstyle, she says that she would have done anything to be like S.E.S. and Fin.K.L. ten years ago, when she was a young girl who dreamed a fairy tale dream of becoming popular in the music industry. There were four members who were all practicing to become solo acts initially, and who were quite shocked when they were put together under the name, “2NE1” for the first time. At first glance, they seem so different from one another. Specially Sandara, who was so shy, to a point that she was mistaken as mute during her school days. That is why YG’s CEO Yang Hyun Suk, also known as “Yang Sajangnim,” thought that it would be quite a difficult job to acquaint her with the other three members who were so, very different from herself.
“It was really awkward. When it was time to practice and I’d eat alone, those three always came to me first. So we became close really fast. Now, I think it’s the three members who comfort and protect me.”
Small misunderstandings though, would of course, arise. Recently, we learned that at first, Sandara Park thought that fellow member, and same-age friend, Park Bom, didn’t like her. She blames it on the time when she called Park Bom but ended the call abruptly because she was too shy to talk.
“She didn’t know about my personality back then until it was too late, but looking back at it now, it was really funny.” The fact that she remains very shy is surprising, given how active and fierce the 2NE1 member Sandara Park can be on stage.
“I didn’t say a word at school, but I found the courage to do a solo song during a school festival. I really don’t know how I did gained confidence then.”
Being too shy to show her real self, thus she needed the stage to stand on.
“Even before debut, my dream was always to one day be able to perform on a concert stage, so it felt really awesome when we had our first solo concert stage two years ago. And I was really happy during last year’s concert tour. Two years ago, we only had a Japan tour aside from our domestic concert, but last year, we also went to the United States, Singapore, and Taiwan. I was really nervous, especially during our first performance in the states. We didn’t know whether anyone would come to our first concert in New Jersey, I got really scared that there’d only be a few people in the audience. However, it was really amazing to see that a lot of Korean-Americans had come to see us. At first, I thought they were Americans, but they said that they were Koreans so I was surprised. When the tour ended, I cried a lot. If we are able to go to even more countries this year, it would be better.”
Going beyond language barriers and borders, being able to be express herself on-stage, having that exciting feeling makes her want to stand on-stage even more. Looking back last year, there were some things that she wasn’t able to do, yet there were just a few regrets.
“Because we went around for our global tour, we weren’t able to do much in Korea. We were only able to put out one digital single, “I Love You” last year and weren’t able to complete our album. I do look forward to performing new songs, coming back on-stage with a new style.”
During debut, everything seemed suddenly so fascinating and new, but now that she’s 2NE1’s Sandara Park, she says that she still feels that challenges need to be faced.
She also recently reached the age of thirty. “Kill all!” Climbing on-stage, 2NE1’s Sandara Park enjoys the challenge, but it’s also important to Park Sandara to look back on the important things in life. Though with her ageless appearance, time seems to stop for her.
“Actually my debut wasn’t that abrupt, I debuted when I was already 26 years old. Our team’s youngest, (Gong) Minzy was just 16 years old when she debuted. To some extent, age matters, but we don’t really care about it. 2NE1 as a team doesn’t see ourselves as young girls, but I think that we have this feeling of needing to continue our music. However, now that I’m in my 30’s, I also do think of what I’d do in the future. I’d really love to challenge myself in acting.”
Of course, she doesn’t want to leave 2NE1 to act alone. She believes that there is still a lot she can do as 2NE1’s Sandara Park. But there are things that she wants to accomplish with the name Park Sandara, as well. She desires a lot.
“When I was young, though I was silent a lot, there were a lot of things that I wanted to do. Looking back at the past five years, I didn’t even feel like time passed, there’s still so much I want to do, like I don’t want anything to be wasted time.”
On the other hand, telling her about Wonder Girls’ Sunye‘s marriage stirred something srange in her.
“Although I don’t know her personally, I felt nervous and fidgety, but also excited at the same time, my heart felt really strange. But she looked really beautiful.”
After being freed from the love-dating ban contract that the agency put on them within three years after debut, maybe this time would be a golden opportunity to try out something new. But for now, love seems to be vague since her focus now is on recording their new songs. Whether this will be a regular full album, or a mini album, for sure there will be a new style for Park Sandara as they sing new songs and do new performances. At first, facing this moment might have started off awkwardly, but now that she is faced with a familiar challenge, Sandara Park gains a confident look.
Source: Elle Magazine, March Issue 2013
Posted by: Littlestone@OhMyGoddess
Translated by: BlackjackBelle@OhDara/ SlaveTranslator@WeLoveDara