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Lee Byung-hun, Sumi Jo glow in Oscar 2016

All News 14:44 February 29, 2016

SEOUL, Feb. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean world stars Sumi Jo and Lee Byung-hun landed on the red carpet of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Monday, Korea time, wowing Oscar fans.

Jo, a world-top soprano of 54, was invited to the event as the artist for "Simple Song #3" from the film "Youth." Jo made a special appearance in "Youth" and sang the song.

"Simple Song #3," composed by David Lang, was nominee for this year's Best Original Song, one of the 24 categories, presented at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

The South Korean opera diva showed up in a black-and-lilac mermaid evening dress, a lavish haute couture with a design inspired by the Korean national flag, taegukgi.

The dress was decorated with ample black see-through lace and tens of thousands of pink sequins, a work by South Korean fashion designer Seo Seung-yeon of wedding dress maker Denicheur. Seo has designed Jo's outfit for operas and grand ceremonies, after the late South Korean designer Andre Kim passed away.

The dress's graceful silhouette owes much to the premium wrinkle-resistant silks, known as "nongae silk" and "pearl silk."

The design concept of the taegukgi dress is "couture with the most Western-based style, made of the most Korean-based materials," according to the dress maker.

Previously at the Golden Global Awards on Jan. 11, "Simple Song #3" was nominated for the best original song and yet gave way to Sam Smith, who sang "Writing's on the Wall" from James Bond movie "Spectre."

At the Oscars, "Simple Song #3" was among the five best original song nominees with "Earned It" from "50 Shades Of Grey," "Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction," "Til It Happens to You" from "The Hunting Ground" and "Writing's on the Wall" from "Spectre."

Another Korean star to join the Oscars was Lee Byung-hun, the 45-year-old protagonist of hit Korean film "Inside Men."

This is the first time in the 88-year Academy Awards a South Korean actor has presented at the Oscars.

The hallyu star was named one of 40-some presenters at this year's Oscar, with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Chris Evans, John Legend, Margot Robbie and Reese Witherspoon.

Lee has increased his presence in the U.S. through Hollywood films, such as "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," "G.I. Joe: The Retaliation," "Red 2" and "Terminator Genisys."

This year, he will co-star with hallyu actors Gang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin in South Korean film "Master," and also with Gong Hyo-jin in "Single Rider."

jwc@yna.co.kr
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