[Trans] Sungmin's Article in Cool Magazine April 2011 issue.
“As compared to the others, the Sungmin off stage is very low-profile, no matter how chaotic others’ world is, he is surrounded with quiet. It is not that he does not like liveliness, but that he cannot grasp his place in such a place. People who love him mostly do so because of his cute smile, his bunny teeth, his curved brows when he smiles. To him now, all those “sweet danhobak” memories, have become a burden to his development. He is a really a man! He is really a passionate youth! Watch how Lee Sungmin put up a break-through show.” How this article actually came about was because during the previous Cool Magazine interview with SJ-M, Sungmin complained about his position in the group - “I am actually exhausted with all the tolerating” As Sungmin is a very likable person off-camera, Cool decided to help Sungmin with his wish of breaking out of his gentle image which he had for so long.
A member like Sungmin, should have been the trump card of the group. I’d occasionally call him the “Firefighter”. When Donghae is not around, he can fill in his spot as one of the lead dancers, if Ryeowook is absent, he can also fill in the role of a lead singer. He can play the guitar occasionally while he sings. When he has the mood, he will perform a magic trick or two to entertain everyone. Of course, there is also that “hat dance” which shouldn’t go to waste. In Sungmin’s world, there isn’t anything that he specializes in but yet he can master everything. To date, he had tried acting and musicals while still juggling his usual workload and Sungmin’s overall abilities have increased a notch. It seems that Sungmin isn’t too suitable for joining SJ-M as compared to him the other members who already have some basic mandarin foundation, furthermore, his forte is Japanese which is why his first Solo performance is given to the Japanese. Due to this language barrier, there are times when Sungmin’s talents cannot be shown, the time taken to translate also makes if difficult for him to cope, just when he had came up with a reply for one question, the next question would be asked and he wouldn’t have the chance to express himself. Even Eunhyuk whose hosting skills are really good can’t manage to say much, much less Sungmin. But this difficulties didn’t stop Sungmin’s determination to nail mandarin. Of course, we should also believe in his passion towards learning and perhaps soon, “mandarin leader“‘s position would change people. (laughs)
On Sungmin you can find unlimited potentials. He is someone who is able to bring you new surprises when you least expect it, but people would tend to forget the work put in behind these surprises. It seems that as long as there is something that artistes can do, Sungmin would be able to master it however, this child just doesn’t know how to do self-promotion. You can see that Sungmin is very ambitious when it comes to his career. However, sometimes it may seem like he tries too hard due to his impatience. But like how every talented person has to go through difficulties before becoming a true talent, Sungmin too is searching for a path that is suitable for him.
“I alwys believe that I am a diamond in the rough”. Maybe as his many skills have matured to a certain level when it explodes, you would be able to see that this shy boy have become a new generation god, such that even looking up at him would hurt your eyes.
Lee Sungmin is an artist who goes by rules, singing by the rules, dancing by the rules, acting by the rules, all his achievements now are all thanks to his own hardwork. The gentle-looking Sungmin is unexpectedly stubborn on some things,for example, in order to perfect his dance routines, Sungmin will stay behind after their group practice and practise on his own in the studio. Everyone has their “beginner’s heart’ , but keeping it is another story. Especially in this field, where it’s full of temptations, and everyone is trying to climb to the top, hardwork alone is not enough. But Sungmin is making himself suited in this environment, not that he’s pleased with his current condition, obviously he want to achieve more, at the same time, not forgetting all those who made him who he is today. Those who visits Sungmin’s CY would know, this kid has a habit that deemed “arrogant” in an outsider’s eye, that is taking photos’ of his fans’ gifts and putting them up in his CY. To those who don’t understand, they will probably think: “Is he trying to boast about his popularity?”, but those who do will know that this is full of his gratitude toward his fans. To the fans, Sungmin is never stingy about nice and cheesy things to say, and a large part of his CY is also dedicate to thank his fans for all those little thing they have done for him, it’s almost like his main aim for having a CY account.
Living on this earth, Sungmin has his own set of rule for all his doings. His attitude in treating others, attitude at work, even those tiny habits in life, he will follow his own habits and organize everything properly. Such an organized person let the people around him feel at ease, he lives in the square that he has set for himself, never letting his emotions going out of the limit. Maybe easy-going people like Kangin will never understand how these patterns bring Sungmin a sense of security, but like what Ryeowook said, the moment Sungmin sat down, the world seems to calm. Sungmin’s world will not be easily disrupted by others, he will also not try to influence others. Normally, he will set a aim for his actions, and then he will out in his all achieving it. In his mind, achieving his goal would be the best way to prove himself, thus, during the due course, he does not need any opinions, that is also why Sungmin is able to bring you many unexpected surprises, because while he’s preparing these surprises for you, you are unaware of it. To put it in other words, it doesn’t matter to him if you knew. Lee Sungmin does not hide his hopes and aspirations for himself, so you would be able to see him blossom at many places, leaving his own mark. Usually, when he gets interested in something or some mission, his eyes would exude a certain kind of Charisma, making it difficult not to notice him. Sungmin would often discover his own flaws and later work hard to overcome them. You can say that he is the member who perseveres. He used to admit that his dancing wasn’t good but during their 3rd comeback, his Solo Hat-dance caused many jaws to drop. He wants to try acting, so he worked on President, and received the acknowledgement of his seniors. There was a time when he was passionate with learning musical instruments, so be it the harmonica or the guitar, he can play them well. Recently, Heechul had been promoting Sungmin, and kept saying that he is a “Chick which brokes through the eggshell”. Maybe he too saw Sungmin’s strengths starting to slowly emerging. President’s poor viewership might cause the sponsors and producers to suffer for a period of time. For a show which casted an idol so that its political storyline does not seem so boring, Sungmin’s performance is the thing that shines amongst the other flops. There was even news discribing him as “an idol which was wasted” to address that Sungmin’s parts in the show were not as many as expected. However, to Sungmin, viewership ratings and his trails are a different matter. Of course it is good to have high viewer ratings but for an acting newbie like Sungmin, starting off with excellent critiques might become a burden to him. “More and more idols are starting to go into the acting business, they have all made sufficient preparations and practice, many of them already have the talent for acting.But I do not wish to compare myself with them, as in ultimately, I am still a newbie and still have many flaws, but I will work hard to improve”. If asked if he had other ambitions other than for his career, the answer would definitely be— how to get others to feel that I am a real man. This is something that it commonly seen as artistes would put in alot of effort to train their muscles, tan their skin to a bronze colour or act sexy for the screen just to tell the world that they are men not boys. Sungmin is burdened by his fixed cute image. If it wasn’t for his initial little animal-like look, maybe Fans would not link him with the word “cute”. If you want muscles, look at Kangin, if you want prettiness, look at Heechul, if you want cute, look at Sungmin…. this is their early image, and sungmin wasn’t too against this. Just look at his interests and you can see that Sungmin isn’t too keen on all the aegyo and acting cute, but he is interested in martial arts. Being a grown man of 20+ , as he had accepted his given image in the beginning, he can only be troubled by it now. He had trained his muscles and corrected his bunny teeth, he does exude masculinity but occasionally his smile still looks cute. So the journey is still long, Lee Sungmin ssi’s road to change continues.
Sungmin is definitely the best ‘Firefighter’ is Super Junior, with the title “Wherever there’s the need, I will be there”, we should really give him some credits. Putting his whole heart and mind, always cooperating with the group’s activities, he is said to be the most diligent member. With this kind of member around, it must be such great comfort to leader Leeteuk (as compared to another ‘elder’ member, Sungmin has so much less to be worried about…). Comparing to those members who are often absent from the group’s activity, Sungmin is rarely absent, but there are times where you suddenly spot him covering for other member’s place, these occasions are more than often. It not that Sungmin is free, the opposite, Sungmin’s own schedule leaves him breathless. However, these sudden additional schedules are much more than others, and there is only one reason - Only Sungmin on the job can put people’s mind at ease. For example, when a member of the Teuk Academy could not be present, Sungmin will transform into a gag cameo; when one of the DJs couldn’t make it, Sungmin and his sweet voice will bring the listeners on a special journey. Besides all this activities, tv dramas, musicals, overseas developments have all became his main focus, and the always hardworking Sungmin of course will not let these opportunities pass him by. Thus, SJ’s model member has got to be no other than Sungmin!
[CR: Cool Magazine, 莫小莫_爱小香花 l TRANS: paperheartsMIN and FayeriELF] & @13elieveSG Twitter
I LOVE SUNGMIN