Posted : 2013-05-03 19:44
Updated : 2013-05-03 19:44

Osong beauty expo opens

Guests wave colored scarves at the opening of the Cosmetics and Beauty Expo in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, Friday. They include Lee Si-jong, center, provincial governor and co-chairman of the Expo, and Kim Hwa-jung, to his right, co-chairwoman and a former welfare minister.

By Park Jin-hai

The Cosmetics and Beauty Expo Osong Korea 2013 kicked off Friday for a 24-day run with colorful and flashy events.

A dance performance by Alex Barendregt, president of the World Body Painting Association; Agnieszka Glinska, choreographer and body-painting artist; and dancers marked the opening of the expo with an extravaganza of color.

The expo, under the motto of "Beautiful Life & Healthy Bio," runs through May 26, in Osong, about 120 kilometers south of Seoul.

The opening event was attended by high-ranking government officials and industry leaders, including Prime Minister Chung Hong-won and Salvatore Fodera, the president of the OMC, the world's largest hairdressing organization.

More than 300 cosmetics and beauty companies and 2,000 buyers have been booked for the event and more than 1 million visitors are expected to turn up to make it the largest ever cosmetics and beauty show in Korea.

"Hallyu, or the Korean wave, which started from K-drama, is peaking with K-pop. Now is the time we find a new field to keep the fervor alive. I believe the answer is K-beauty," said Lee Si-jong, the co-chairman of the expo and governor of North Chungcheong Province, in opening remarks.

Six pavilions are open to the public - World Beauty, Bio-Beauty, Korea Fever Culture, World Beauty Dolls, Cosmetics Industry and Beauty Industry.

Among them, Bio-Beauty grabbed the early visitors' attention the most. Entering the pavilion, people could see the pictures of men and women appearing to get younger, as if their bio-clocks had been reversed.

Elsewhere is the Competition Hall, where professionals in the beauty industry compete in the fields of hair-dressing, makeup and nail art.

North Chungcheong Province has six health related government organizations including the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety alongside a cluster of some 250 cosmetics and bio-engineering firms.

"Based on that infrastructure, encompassing research, manufacturing and purchasing, we strive to realize our dream of becoming the hub of the cosmetics and beauty industries," Lee said.

Prime Minister Chung also highlighted the emergence of Osong as a "Mecca of K-beauty" and cited the importance of the industry as part of the creative economy.

K-pop stars who performed included Sistar, Dal Shabet and G.Na.

The opening was televised live on KBS TV.

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