KUALA LUMPUR, January 23, 2017 – Making a comeback after a 13-year small-screen hiatus, Lee Young-ae takes centre stage in Saimdang, Oh!K’s latest period drama. A love story set across time about the life of historical Korean figure – Shin Saimdang, the series will premiere with double episodes simultaneously with Korea on 26 January 2017 (Thursday) at 9pm, exclusively on Oh!K (Astro Ch 394). Fans will be able to catch new episodes every Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm.
Lee Young-ae first gained international recognition in 2003 for her performance in the award-winning television series, Jewel in the Palace. The series which is currently airing on Oh!K was exported to 91 countries, increasing the Korean pop-culture phenomenon abroad.
Set in both the Joseon era and present day, Saimdang weaves a story of fact and fiction, uncovering the life of this unconventional 16th century Korean woman. In an interesting twist, Lee Young-ae is set to play both roles of the female lead in past and present – as Seo Jiyun, a part-time university lecturer and Shin Saimdang herself. The story opens when Seo Jiyun discovers the diary of Shin Saimdang in Italy, and goes on to uncover the secrets about a mystery painting she finds inside.
Acting alongside Lee Young-ae is Korean heartthrob Song Seung-heon (East of Eden, Autumn in My Heart). After a break of three years, he returns to the screen in his first period drama as Lee Gyeom, Shin Saimdang’s love interest. In Saimdang, viewers can expect to see a different side to the actor.
Be sure to catch the double-episode premiere of Saimdang, same time as Korea on 26 January 2017 (Thursday) at 9PM exclusively on Oh!K (Astro Channel 394). New episodes air every Wednesday and Thursday at 9PM.
More about Saimdang
An intertwined journey of Jiyun (Starring Lee Young-ae), a university lecturer of Korean art in the present, and Shin Saimdang herself in the past comes alive in this brand new series. After Jiyun stumbles upon the diary of historical figure Shin Saimdang, she becomes intrigued by a mysterious portrait that she finds inside of it. Looking to discover the history behind the picture, she takes it upon herself to locate the real portrait and through this, Saimdang’s love and life story awakens.
View the official promo here:
- https://vimeo.com/197864392 (English)
- https://vimeo.com/197864417 (Mandarin)
- https://vimeo.com/197864428 (Bahasa Malaysia)
Meet the Main Cast
Lee Young-ae is a well-known actress in the Korean entertainment scene. She began her career through a role in an advertisement in 1991, with Andy Lau. In 1995, she went back to school to pursue her favourite subject – acting.
After 10 years, since her appearance in the hit drama Jewel in the Palace, Lee Young-ae is finally returning to the screens.
Through her highly praised acting skills in Jewel in the Palace, she created a global craze for Korean dramas. In 2007, she received the Medal of Culture Merit from the South Korean government for her contribution to the Korean wave.
In Saimdang, Lee Young-ae takes on a double role in the series. She plays Seo Jiyun, the mother of a precocious eight-year-old son and a Korean art history lecturer at a university. When she comes across an old book in Italy suspected of being Saimdang’s memoirs, she gets swept up in the whirlwind of destiny.
She also plays Shin Saimdang, the woman who writes “the Sujinbang Diary” that Seo Jiyun discovered. She is an artist with an extraordinary sense of colour.
Song Seung Heon is an instantly recognisable South Korean actor. Wooed by many for his chiselled good looks, Song Seung Heon began his career as a model for the jeans brand STORM.
He broke into acting with the 1996 television sitcom Three Guys, Three Girls, and a very successful acting career followed.
His popularity increased tremendously with the 2000 drama Autumn in My Heart which made him one of the most recognised Hallyu stars and much sought-after actor.
Song Seung Heon has since starred in many popular films and dramas, including East of Eden (2008), My Princess (2011), Dr. Jin (2012), When a Man Loves (2013).
In Saimdang, he takes on the role as Lee Gyeom, a free-spirited boy who was locked in a prison disguised as a home. He was a man who never stopped loving Saimdang and stayed devoted to her all his life. He was the Joseon version of a chivalrous man who treasured even the shadow of the woman he loved.