By Pyo Kyung-min
Celebrating its 18th year, the 2023 Asia Model Festival wrapped up with the Asia Model Awards on Sunday recognizing stellar talents from all over the region.
The event brought together Asian artists including singers, actors, influencers as well as models to Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, for three days. The festivities kicked off with the Asia Open Collection on Friday, the Face of Asia on Saturday, wrapping up with the Asia Model Awards on Sunday.
The Asia Model Awards is an annual event that recognizes talents across various entertainment categories, such as modeling, acting, singing, fashion and beauty in Asia. It serves as the continent’s premier entertainment festival, featuring fashion shows, beauty galas, K-pop performances and appearances by hallyu (Korean wave) stars as well as leading figures in the fashion and beauty industries.
Sunday’s ceremony began with an Asian traditional clothing fashion show, followed by the Beauty Gala Show and a fashion presentation by designer Chung Chung Lee of the Lie Collection, who received the International Cultural Exchange Contribution Award, commended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
K-pop groups, including NINE.i, Loosemble, VANNER, Cignature and GHOST9, who were among the winners, also performed on stage.
In addition to Lee, notable 2023 Asia Model Award winners include YouTuber Oking, influencer Velymom, whose real name is Lee Seo-young, and Indonesia’s Gunawan Patricia, receiving the Asia SNS Star Award.
The Asia Power Seller Award went to YouTuber Bbocute and company Belle J’s Kim Hye-jung, while the Fashionista Award was won by Song Jae-hee, Nguyen Nam from Vietnam and Evany Wityo from Indonesia. The Kids Star Award was presented to Hong Kong’s twin model JJ BABY and Vietnam’s Nguyen Le Vi.
Recognizing emerging talents, the New Star Award was given to the K-pop groups NINE.i and Loossemble and Korean entertainers Kim Mu-jun and Ji Ye-eun.
Actors Yoo In-soo and Shin Su-hyun received the Rising Star Award, while K-pop groups VANNER and Cignature were awarded the same prize in the singer category and Nam Kyung-jin, known for his appearance in Netflix’s “Physical: 100,” won in the entertainment categoty.
Actor Lee Sun-bin, K-pop boy band GHOST9 and comedian Kim Won-hun won the Popular Star Award in their respective categories.
The Model Star Award was given to a throng of talents from various Asian countries — Ahn Bo-hyun of Korea, Ayu Ma of Indonesia, Niti Shah of Nepal, Jessia Islam of Bangladesh, Daravuth Try of Cambodia, Ekta Maru of India, Nico Locco of the Phillipines, Sitora Farmonova of Uzbekistan and Hari Won of Vietnam.
The Asia Special Award went to DJ Soda, Uzbek singer Lola Yuldasheva and Cambodian carom billiards player Sruong Pheavy.
The Asia Star Award recognized Sun Yoon-mi in the model category, Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan in the sportsman category and actor Cho Jin-woong in the actor category.