Park Seongjin T-shirt
Park Seongjin, the only Sohaegeum player in South Korea, started playing the traditional instrument when he was 12 years old. He wants to deliver his music to many people so that they can get strength and courage to lead their lives well. In order to portray his wish, we designed the patch with a warm sunset sky where there is no border in the hope that the melody from his Sohaegeum would reach far far away. Also, the patch carries a lot of warm colors as he wants people to listen to his music and leave warm-hearted.
River (강 in Korean) symbolizes people who start a new life, particularly those who left their home country, North Korea, where they were born and raised. Now they are living a new life in South Korea or a third country. Therefore, our brand’s designs always reflects the river.
Seongjin Park | Hometown: Pyongyang | Classical Musician (Sohaegeum)
As a timid and introverted child, I used to play with my sisters such as jumping rope and playing marbles. Until around 13, I was close enough to call my sisters, “unnie.” However, when I entered Pyongyang University of Arts at the age of 12, I became more extroverted, and I used to imitate the scenes of the action movies. Above all, it was an easy decision for me to attend the art university because I heard that I don't have to study difficult subjects such as math or physics.
At the university, I was the youngest in my cohort so I went around with ‘hyungs’ and ran errands a lot. Once, they wanted to sneak into the university's food warehouse and steal snacks, so I, the youngest and the smallest, was dropped by the window. I went in and delivered the snacks, but I remember sleeping in the warehouse overnight because I couldn't get out of the window as I was too short.
I entered the art university at the age of 12 and majored in instrumental music for nine years. I graduated from the university at the age of 21 and went to the military band. The average military unit was under a strict atmosphere with food shortages, but the military band I served in was a little loose, and I could eat without any problems.
However, I was soon excluded from the military band because I sang South Korean songs secretly in front of my close friends, and I was even demoted to Hwanghae-nam-do. It is famous for digging gold, but it is also famous for the propaganda leaflets flying from South Korea. There, I used to throw away the fliers from South Korea, but I learned a little bit about South Korea by peeking at them secretly.
At that point, the father, whose hometown is Gyeongsang-do, grew longing for his hometown, and he was worried about his son's future. He decided to return to his hometown and brought all his family together to defect. Our family first went to China and scattered to avoid the surveillance of North Korean and Chinese troops. Six months later, we met by coincidence in Inner Mongolia, the third country route to South Korea. The road to Korea was really far and dangerous, but I was full of strength and courage because I was able to come with my family.
The first sight of South Korea was so different compared to North Korea. Even though Korean Peninsula experienced the war together, I was shocked by the differences. I was blown away by such a different culture, especially men and women walking around casually in skinny jeans and torn jeans.
The very first thing I did when I arrived in Korea was music. At first, I joined the agency of a famous trot singer, Jang Yoon-jung, and prepared for an album, but it was cancelled after the North Korean nuclear experiment in 2006. As a singer, the opportunity for the album ran away, but I thought I would rather play instruments, so I started playing So Hae-geum (a traditional North Korean musical instrument made by improving Haegeum) again. In order to get Sohaegeum, the agency director found Sohaegeum at the Folk Instruments Museum in Paju and ended up getting it through the routes in China.
This is how I became the only Sohaegeum player in South Korea, and I am very happy to be able to play Sohaegeum again. One of the unfortunate matters, however, is that there will be no Sohaegeum players in the future because there is no Sohaegeum in Korea now.
The best thing about coming to South Korea is that I can get anything as much as I try and that I can do the music I want since the music and art scenes here are active.
It has been about 15 years since I arrived in Korea, and I have been doing so many performances traveling around many regions and villages. That way, I saw many people living difficult lives in South Korea. I hope to continue playing music for these hard-working people so that they can live well with much strength.
- Favorite Color: Yellow
- Favorite Person: Mother
- Favorite Sport: Anything and Everything
- My Life Motto: Enjoy your life!
- What I Like: painting, architecture
• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
• Ash color is 99% combed and ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
• Heather colors are 52% combed and ring-spun cotton, 48% polyester
• Athletic and Black Heather are 90% combed and ring-spun cotton, 10% polyester
• Heather Prism colors are 99% combed and ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping