Rest In Peace, Sulli; Maybe It’s Time To Rethink Idol Culture

On the 14th of October, 2019, the Korean-pop realm unfortunately lost yet another bright soul. 

Sulli, whose birth name is Choi Jin-ri, is an actress and also one-quarter of the former group. f(x), was 25 when she was found dead at a house in Seongnam, South Korea.

The star’s death has been confirmed by the South Korean police who are now in search of a suicide note. The police are still investigating the case although it is deemed as a suspected suicide case.

Sulli’s manager was the one who found her after having been unable to contact her. 

In light of this tragedy, other K-Pop artistes have halted their activities.

Amber Liu, Sulli’s former group mate, has announced that she is “putting on hold [her] upcoming activities.” SM label mates, SuperM, is also no longer attending the pre-recording for an upcoming music show. 

Sulli kick started her career as a child actress playing the role of Princess Seonhwa in a 2005 period drama titled Ballad of Seodong. She debuted under f(x) in 2009 but took a break from the group in 2014 after she was the target of online bullying and harsh criticisms from netizens. She officially left the group in 2015. 

Her latest projects consisted of a cameo appearance in Hotel Del Luna and was supposed to be featured in the upcoming sequel of Persona, Persona 2. 

Sulli was known for her open support for gender equality which both garnered support from fans as well as criticisms from netizens. 

Sulli’s sudden death is a shock to many, especially since she has always been known to be bright and cheerful. 

Nonetheless, this issue is casting yet another spotlight on the severity of bullying, the harshness of the K-pop industry as well as the importance of mental health. These issues beg to be discussed seriously as fans are eager to see positive changes in the industry, but there is no doubt that this is a process that will take time. 

Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with Sulli and those affected by this tragedy, and her shining smile will be missed dearly.

Do not be afraid to seek help, below are some helplines for Singapore:

  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019 
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800 
  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788

Cover image design by KY/SEOULHYPE.


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