Fans remember Shinee's Jonghyun at memorial event

A fan taking photos of a picture of Shinee’s lead singer Jonghyun at a memorial service held for him at Hong Lim Park in Singapore last year.
A fan taking photos of a picture of Shinee’s lead singer Jonghyun at a memorial service held for him at Hong Lim Park in Singapore last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SEOUL • No sounds of sobbing or wailing were heard at a memorial event for Shinee's Jonghyun on Monday, but the singer's death is still keenly felt by his fans.

On Monday evening, an event was held at a theatre in Gangnam to commemorate the late lead vocalist of Shinee, who died a year ago.

It took the form of an art fair that showcased clips and writing dedicated to Jonghyun. The event also included a memorial service.

Organised by Shiny, a non-profit organisation founded by the late singer's family in September to support young artists, the event was exclusively for those who received tickets distributed in advance through a draw.

Under the theme of "Stories you left us, stories we will fill," the memorial event lasted for 21/2 hours starting from 7.30pm.

It kicked off with a memorial worship service and went on to showcase heartfelt clips and letters by fans dedicated to Jonghyun.

Before the event started, fans were also able to get a glimpse of the late artist's keepsakes, such as his kazoo and items he used at his solo concerts, as well as his solo albums, which were exhibited at the theatre.

The overall atmosphere was calm and peaceful, though there were fans who cried silently upon watching videos of Jonghyun played on a wall in the theatre.

Many fans were spotted smiling and sharing their memories of the artist.

It was a stark contrast to Jonghyun's funeral service held at the Asan Medical Centre in Seoul in December last year.

However, that does not mean the pain felt by the singer's fans has lessened.

"It's definitely still difficult to think about him, although a year has passed since his death. I couldn't listen to his songs for a while," Sarah from Canada told The Korea Herald.

She began to overcome the pain after listening to Jonghyun's posthumous album and songs released by Shinee after his death.

Bunny from the Philippines, who attended the memorial event, said she tries to stay cheerful when talking to her friends about Jonghyun.

"It still feels weird, as I've always remembered him being fine and positive. I hadn't expected his death. I listen to his songs whenever I feel stressed at work," she said.

Jonghyun, whose real name was Kim Jong-hyun, was found unconscious in a rented studio apartment in southern Seoul on Dec 18 last year.

The 27-year-old singer had suffered a cardiac arrest upon discovery and was taken to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead after attempts to revive him failed. Police have ruled the case as suicide.

He debuted in 2008 as the main vocalist of Shinee and was known for his singing, dancing and songwriting skills.

His solo career was also a success and he was nominated for the best male artist award at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.

His posthumous album Poet | Artist, which was completed last year, was released in January this year.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'Fans remember Shinee's Jonghyun at memorial event'. Print Edition | Subscribe