3:46 am - 06/24/2012

A Look Inside Super Junior's Dormitories with Sports Seoul

Sports Seoul's Interview at Super Junior's Dorm

"It has really been a long while since we're gathered like this." The Super Junior members gathered together at their dorm for the Sports Seoul interview. From left to right: Leeteuk, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Sungmin, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Yesung. Amongst the nine members who are doing activities, Kyuhyun had to film for a broadcast and was thus unable to be present on that day.

The K-Pop wave is sweeping across the world. K-Pop songs, with its unique performance and stylish melody which cannot be found anywhere else, is spreading its influence not only in Asia, but also in the North American, South American, European, and Middle Eastern regions. Amongst the many idol singers who are leading the K-Pop influence, SM Entertainment’s Super Junior is the one spearheading it. Having debuted 8 years ago in the year 2005, they have captured the hearts of fans worldwide through their songs and performances which can be easily followed by anyone at all, as well as their friendly image. In acknowledgment of these contributions, they received the ‘Daesang’ accolade at the 21st High Seoul Music Awards’ that was organized by Sports Seoul in January this year.

In order to commemorate Sports Seoul’s 27th Founding Anniversary on the 22nd of June, we went in search for the ‘Representative Star of K-Pop’, Super Junior’s dorm. How exactly are the living conditions of the most popular idols? Super Junior’s fans, as well as fans worldwide who are interested in K-Pop, will surely be curious. To unravel the fans’ curiosity, Sports Seoul has recently made a surprise visit to Super Junior’s dorm.

The dorm which was once lived in by 23 people, now there’s only 4

A mixed-use building* in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul. It wasn’t easy to access the building beginning from its entrance. At the entrance, the guards would check each and every car entering and leaving. It’s a system where visitors would have to state the house number and the purpose of visit, and can only be allowed entry after receiving the residents’ confirmation. It gives the feeling that ‘Mm, it’s for the strict control of the fans’, and was better than expected. The wall next to Super Junior’s dorm on the 11th floor is covered with the graffiti of fans that have passed the ‘strong security’. It’s as though it was printed as evidence of a fan’s feelings (where they felt that) ‘I have passed such strict security control and came to meet my oppas’.

Finally we have entered Super Junior’s dorm! The dorm which has 4 rooms, living room, bathroom etc. spans a space of about 65 pyeong*. An ivory-colored sofa stands in the living room which has an impressive unobstructed view. 8 members – Leeteuk, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Sungmin, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Yesung – were gathered and seated there. Although Kyuhyun wasn't able to join due to his filming schedules, the members marveled that “How long has it been since we have all gathered like this?” They have a lot of individual schedules, so having all of them gather like this at the dorm is like picking the stars from the sky*. (Our) first impression towards the dorm was that 'This is a place where 10 men are living in, and in particular it's the top star Super Junior’s living space; it’s not really that wide.'

- How are your living arrangements? How do you use the rooms?

Leeteuk: Ah, it's not only here; there's another dorm upstairs. We live separately upstairs and downstairs. Eunhyuk, Yesung, Kyuhyun, and Sungmin lives downstairs while Leeteuk, Ryeowook, Donghae, as well as Heechul who is currently serving in the army, lives upstairs. Also, Siwon and Shindong, who live in their own houses in Apgujeong-dong and Jamshil respectively, do not stay in the dorms. The company doesn’t make it compulsory for the members to stay in the dorms. Whether we would like to stay at our own homes or the dorms, it's our own freedom.

Somehow there is a preconception that the dorms of idol groups would be located near Seoul’s Gangnam. Actually, it is also a fact that there are a lot of idols living in Gangnam. However, Super Junior said that they had decided on the dorm in Gwangjin-gu as they were able to obtain a place with a wider space at the same price, and it is geographically quite close to Gangnam as well.

- Your dorm isn’t located in Gangnam.

Eunhyuk: In the beginning I started my dormitory life at an apartment in the vicinity of Chungdam-dong. The one who has experienced dorm life for the longest time is Donghae, whose hometown is in Mokpo.

Donghae: I’ve been living in a dorm for 12 years now. I started off my dorm life at the S Apartment in Chungdam-dong in the year 2001. It was about 32 pyeong wide, but 23 of us lived together. There were 23 of us, but we still lived like that as our living patterns were different. Summers were the most difficult. There's only one air conditioner in the living room, and everyone wants to sleep there so... hahaha.

- Then this is your second dorm.

Sungmin: No, it’s not. We switched dorms in 2006, at the time when ‘U’ became a hit, to a 50-pyeong7 villa in Gangnam. Dong Bang Shin Ki achieved a huge success at that time and went to a better dorm… The members and manager-hyungs, 20 of us in all, lived together.

The fans always come to the dorms where the idols live in. Because of this, the neighbors would always file complaints. Super Junior is like this as well. ‘Security’ is the biggest factor behind their move to their current mixed-use building.

- When did you move into this place?

Yesung: We have lived here for 4 years since moving here in 2009. At that time, there were a lot of fans who came looking for us at the villa that we were living in, and it brought a lot of inconvenience to our neighbors. Some of the neighbors even splashed water at the fans. There was nothing else we could do so we moved here. The security here is really good. Although we’ve been living here for four years I really like it here.

Ryeowook (second from left) has a lot of interest in cooking. He would frequently provide food for the hungry members. The members’ faces lighten up when they see food.

Dorm life is good because (you won’t feel) lonely

- With a group of grown men living together, there would inevitably be a lot of interesting episodes right?

Siwon: We don’t even have (enough) towels to dry ourselves after we bathe. To make things more interesting, we decided to hold bathing contests. The best record holder is Shindong (who finished bathing) within 11 seconds.

Shindong: If you were to ask me how is it possible to finish bathing within 11 seconds? It’s possible!

- Which member has the worst sleeping habit?

Leeteuk: That would definitely be Shindong. He snores really loudly and he also has the habit of taking off his clothes while sleeping. The housekeeper who came to clean our dorm got a really big shock when she went to clean Shindong’s room. Haha.

Here, say 'Ah.'" Ryeowook, who likes to feed the other members, is delivering watermelon into Sungmin's mouth.

- Who is the “mother figure” of the group? For example, a member who takes really good care of the other members.

Donghae: It’s Ryeowook. He is pretty good at washing dishes and whenever he sees the ingredients in the refrigerator, he will say “I’ll make you all something to eat”. He really takes good care of us and the food that he makes is really delicious as well.

Eunhyuk, who is the most notorious for being the one who is extremely busy in work-related and private matters amongst the members, stands in front of the vanity table. His vanity table is neater than the vanity table of an average woman.

- Who is the member who is busiest with both work and life outside of work?

The members unanimously agreed that the busiest person is Eunhyuk.

Leeteuk: “Eunhyuk’s house is in Doksan-dong, Seoul and therefore he could return to his own home quite frequently. Also, Eunhyuk is a devout Christian and he would also diligently attend church services.” Whenever he comes home the members would ask him “Where have you been?”. Those are the answers that he would give us but we don’t believe him, haha.

Eunhyuk chose himself as the member with the cleanest room.

Different from Eunhyuk, Donghae, together with Leeteuk, prefers staying in the dorm.

On the other hand, Donghae and Leeteuk are different compared to Eunhyuk. They were chosen as the reclusive members of the group. These 2 members are at the dorm most of the time. They would be curious if they do not see each other at the dorm. Even if it's only for a very short while, they would call each other up and ask "Where are you?" and "What are you doing?" The members laughed while saying that their relationship is similar to that of a girlfriend who constantly needs to know the exact whereabouts of (her boyfriend).

- What are the pros and cons of living in the dorm?

Leeteuk: The inconvenient part is that we don’t get much privacy. To be honest, we would like to be in a relationship and have a girlfriend, but if were to talk on the phone in our room, someone would come in and ask “who are you talking to?”. However, there are many merits to dorm life. We won’t feel lonely, and when we are tired or when we want someone to talk to, the members are always there.

Donghae: I want to live like this until the day I die. It's because I really like living with the members. However we will have to get married and raise our own families in the future. Therefore we shall live as neighbors instead after getting married.

- It’s comfortable living in the dorm but there would be times when you will actually miss home?

Sungmin: When we don't get to go home during festive periods because of work, we would. Watching TV programs which feature families or when we have nothing to eat in the dorm, that is when we miss our family most.

Besides the 12th floor’s dining chairs, we hope to change...
Are there any members who say that "I want to live separately now," or "I’m tired of living in the dorm?" We asked whether there are any members who are showing signs of wanting to leave the dorms.</i>

- Are there any members currently living in the dorm who wish to live independently?

Leeteuk: There are no such members, in our dorms, we have a housekeeper who helps us cook and clean. All our expenses are taken care of by the company, therefore we don’t really need to spend much when we live in the dorm. Also, we are accustomed to living with each other in the dorm and we won’t really know what to do if we were to live separately. In fact I have been worrying a lot that my room will be taken away (by someone else) when I enlist in the army. However, the door to my room is a sliding door, so it can’t be locked. Haha.

- Are there any changes to the dorm that you’ll like the company to carry out?

Leeteuk: The 12th floor dorm’s dining table and sofa should be changed. We have been using those since our trainee days and now it feels a little uncomfortable. We hope to get dining chairs with back support as well because our waist hurts after eating while using chairs without the back support. Haha.

Sungmin: It would be great if the 11th floor’s television could be changed to one of those with a bigger display screen.

Ryeowook: On the 12th floor we previously pooled together some money to buy a new television. It was more than 20-inches wide previously, but we’ve changed to a 50-inched one.

*A mixed-use building is a building which is made for both living and business purposes.
*‘pyeong’ is a traditional Korean metric system for the measurement of size of rooms or buildings, and is equal to 35.586 square feet in the S.I. units. In other words, Super Junior’s dorm is about 2,313 square feet in size.
*“Picking stars from the sky” – An idiom which expresses something is very difficult to achieve.

Source: Sports Seoul - Part 1 Part 2, & for translations: eternalsnow {Part 1} & KyU Is L♥Ve {Part 2} @ SJ-WORLD.NET, Sup3rJunior.com - Part 1 Part 2
scubajr 24th-Jun-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think those are pictures of their dorm. When Donghae tweeted those pictures, there were rumours that it was his own apartment, or his mom's.
the_erotomanic 24th-Jun-2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
oh, interesting. i thought this was his bedroom. but it does seem too big to be just a room in their dorm.

i wonder why they didn't mention donghae having his own apartment.
vforvera 24th-Jun-2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
must be his mum's then. it's really nice though, very clean and modern. me likee. I really like how open the windows are. Makes a small space feel larger and grander.
the_erotomanic 25th-Jun-2012 12:10 am (UTC)
i like that donghae uses a roomba. hehe!

but yeah, i would love to have huge windows, but i would definitely need two layers of curtains.
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