By Han Sang-hee
When National Treasure No.1 Namdaemun burned down in a fire in February this year, Koreans emotionally fell down with it. Although the government vowed that it will restore the beloved treasure, it was evident that cultural assets needed more attention. Followed by the disastrous reminder and the on-going demand for attention to these treasures, MBC is airing its new drama "When It's at Night
" next week.
"When It's at Night
" is the first drama to tell the stories of national treasures and the people who dedicate their time and effort to protect and preserve them. Written by Yoon Eun-kyeong
, the writer from KBS' "Winter Sonata
" (2002), the 16-episode drama is expected to raise awareness of the vulnerable treasures and cultural assets dotted around the nation.
"The drama is about the love and work of young and passionate characters. Many worried that the story may unfold a bit complicatedly because we touched on the issue of the preservation of national treasures", Son Hyeong-suk, the producer said at a press conference held at the National Museum of Korea.
Actress Kim Sun-ah
will star as the patriotic national treasure security agent Huh Cho-hee, while actor Lee Dong-gun
will play the smart but two-faced treasure restoration expert Kim Bum-sang. The two actors will not only show the viewers their trademark charms and charisma, but also the process of restoring and preserving important treasures including books, vases and scrolls.
"Huh has a secret about her father ― He was the reason she became a treasure-keeper. The story will unfold as the heartbroken Huh meets Kim and starts to open her heart", Kim said.
"As I saw the Namdaemun Gate falling on the news, it broke my heart. I regretted that we were just so ignorant. It was a chance for not only me, but for the whole public to realize the importance of our treasures. The drama will hopefully help people realize what we have to do in the future", she added.
It is her first television drama in three years after her success in "My Lovely Sam-soon" ("My Name is Kim Sam-soon
", 2005). The image of a comical woman stayed with her, and when asked if she was worried of her Sam-soon image, she laughed. "I don't expect the viewers to rub off that image easily. But I hope they will watch the new drama and discover and focus on the new character Cho-hee", she said.
Lee, from the SBS drama "Lovers of Paris" (2004), also admitted that he has been ignorant. "I play an expert in the drama, so I studied a lot. I learned about Korean treasures, their features and what they mean to our culture. I'm sure everybody in the crew has learned a lot and I hope the viewers will too", he said.
"We just hope the drama will help people realize what the most important treasure is in their own lives. It may be a cultural asset, or even a family member. Look around, and there are many treasure that we need to take care of", Son said.
"When It's at Night
" will start airing at 9:55 p.m. June 23 on MBC.