Chung Kyung Wha
My beautiful seventies
As a young woman, Kyung Wha Chung used to tear her hair out whenever she thought her performance was dissatisfying and did not meet her own standards. However, Chung says time has rounded out some of her rough edges. “I made things tough for myself throughout my entire life. I always drove myself to the brink. I practiced so hard to the point I felt I couldn’t even breathe.” Chung still worships perfection. But she now understands that perfection is an impossible ideal for a human being. After coming across injuries and all the hardships of time, Chung ultimately became more at ease with herself. “String instruments are sensitive. A small deviation can make a completely different sound. In the past, I hated that. Now, I care more about creating beautiful harmonies, rather than producing pitch-perfect notes. I focus on how rich and colorful I can make my music, and how I can convey my feelings using melodies.”
My beautiful seventies
Her seventieth birthday came without much fanfare, although the media did ask what it felt like for a great artist, who was still very much active and hard-working to stay on top of her game, to turn seventy years old. “Do you feel your age?” reporters asked. Chung said, “I felt more anxious and depressed leading up to my seventieth birthday. But when I opened my eyes in the morming I turned seventy, I realized everything was exactly the same as yesterday. I was really glad. All I focus on is the fact that I can still play my music for people. It’s a blessing.” “Beau Soir” is the 33th album from Chung, still revered as a virtuoso in the world of music. Listening to her performance of each song is enough to make any listener feel as if they are standing in the warm glow of an endless sunset stretching out into the distance. Even at the age of seventy, an age she says is a blessing to continue playing music, Chung is able to clearly reﬂect her desire to convey the beauty of music within every single notes. And that very desire to deliver the beauty of music inspired her to join Sulwhasoo’s “Beauty Grows” campaign. “The message Sulwhasoo desired to convey to the world was in line with what I believed in my heart. It touched my heart beyond the limitations of time and space. Similar to the emotions music instills in people, you can’t describe beauty as a one-dimensional element. It depends on each person’s life and appearance. And every single step is important in itself.” Chung says it was an unimaginable blessing to live a life so utterly in love with the violin, and a life filled with the applause and acclaim from an audience that adored her. Chung worked countless hours to be able to perform on stage, yet she admits she is nowhere near to understanding just how beautiful and insightful music can be. It is no less than a miracle for Chung to keep on playing music so elegantly to her seventies. Looking back, she says everything - the agony, the joy, and every moment that made the Kyung Wha Chung the artist she is today – was genuinely beautiful.