- This is a Chinese name. The family name is HÃ¡n.
Han Geng (Chinese: é©åº; Pinyin: HÃ¡n GÄ"ng; Wade-Giles: Han Keng; Hangul: íê²½) (born February 9, 1984) is a Chinese Mandopop singer and actor.
Han studied dance and martial arts at a young age and is skilled in all of China's 56 ethnic traditional dances, as well as ballet and hip-hop. He started his career in 2001, when he was chosen by SM Entertainment (SME) to become a member of South Korean boy band Super Junior, which debuted in 2005. He later became the leader of its sub-group Super Junior-M in 2008. On December 21, 2009, Han filed a lawsuit against SME to terminate his contract, citing that the 13-year contract was unlawful, overly restrictive, and unfair. His arguments include being forced to do things outside of his contract and being refused sick leave, which led to kidney illness. He has since returned to China to pursue a solo career. On September 27, 2011, Han Geng's departure from SM Entertainment was made official as both parties came to a mutual agreement.
For his various contributions to the spread of Chinese culture, Han was chosen as a torch bearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He later also became an ambassador for the 2010 Shanghai Expo and the 2010 Asian Games. In late 2012, Han started to gain international attention and won the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards' "Best Worldwide Act" and Nickelodeon's 2013 Kids' Choice Awards' "Favorite Asian Act".
Han Geng is of ethnic Nanai descent from Northeast China, and was born in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang, China. He attended Guang Hua Elementary School from 1990 to 1996.
At age 12, Han was accepted into the dance department at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, and left his family and his hometown in the Northeastern part of China to pursue studies in dance. During his years at the university, he mastered all 56 types of traditional dances from China's 56 ethnic groups, received training in ballet and martial arts, and performed in many countries including the United States and Russia.
In 1999, as a representative of the Nanai ethnic group, Han participated in China's anniversary parade.
In December 2001, South Korea's biggest entertainment agency, SM Entertainment, went to China to hold the "H.O.T. CHINA" audition casting in Beijing 101, in hopes of finding new talents in the country. Han Geng, who was preparing for his graduation performance at the Central University for Nationalities, immediately caught the attention of the agency's talent scouts, and was invited to participate in the audition. At the time, Han was not very interested, as he had never heard of SME and had wanted to pursue a career in acting. One of his friends, however, was very interested and persuaded Han to accompany him to the audition. Although hesitant at first, Han agreed to audition with his friend. The competition rate was 3,000 to 1.
After graduating in 2002, Han began to work briefly as an extra in short, low-budget Chinese films and performed at local events across the country to earn money for acting school. In late August 2002, Han was notified that he had been selected by SM Entertainment. Due to financial reasons, Han decided to take SMEâs offer and was sent to South Korea in March 2003 to receive private lessons in singing, dancing, acting and Korean language as a trainee. By mid-2003, Han moved into dormitories, lived with other trainees who were under the same label, and began to receive intense training in hip hop and street dance. He started out as a Class C dancer (the lowest class for dancing), as he had zero knowledge in hip hop dance at the time, but in the short period of six months, he went straight to Class A, skipping Class B. At that time, there were only 3 people in Class A, including Han.
2005-2008: Korea and Super Junior
On February 6, 2005, Han Geng was officially announced to be part of one of South Korea's all-boy rotational musical groups, Super Junior, as a member of its first generation, Super Junior 05. Being the first non-Korean celebrity to formally debut in South Korea, Han was closely followed by the Korean media. Three months after the announcement, Han made his first media appearance as a runway model along with fellow group member Choi Siwon in a fashion show organized by Bum Suk.
Han was one of the few members of Super Junior who actively appeared as a regular guest on Korean variety shows, such as Love Letter and Star Golden Bell. Being active in variety shows, his popularity within Super Junior grew and Han became popular in many East Asia countries. Han also started to make guest appearances in different Chinese variety shows, being one of the first K-pop idols to appear in them. In Super Junior, Han had his first TV acting experience in a cameo appearance with band-mate Eunhyuk as a friend of Heechul's in an episode of the MBC drama Rainbow Romance in early 2006.
Han's first big-scale film was Attack on the Pin-Up Boys, an SM Pictures production that starred all Super Junior members except Kyuhyun. He had a cameo appearance as a popular basketball player who later got attacked by a mysterious force. Despite positive critical ratings, the film did not do well at the box-office. However, all four DVD versions of the film were sold out and broke chart records.
2008-2009: Return to China
On March 20, 2008, Han Geng was announced to be one of the torch bearers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Han earned his spot due to his constant promotion of Chinese culture while he was in Korea. His torch relay was in the Beijing route on August 7, 2008. He was runner number 240. Besides being a torch bearer, he also sung in the Beijing Olympic theme song Beijing Welcomes You (åäº¬æ¬¢è¿ä½ ). This catapulted Han Gengâs popularity in China.
Taking advantage of Hanâs growing popularity in China, on April 8, 2008, Super Junior's third subgroup Super Junior-M made its debut in China, with Han Geng as the leader of the group. The subgroup released their first Chinese-language studio album, Me, on May 2, 2008. The album debuted on Taiwan's G-music Integration Strategy combo charts at #2 and #1 on many of China's and Thailand's music charts. During this time, Hanâs overwhelming popularity set him apart from the rest of the group, catching the media's attention and making him become high in demand by numerous TV shows, commercials and movies. However, his agency did not allow him to take part in such activities without the rest of the group, restricting his solo appearances. This later became a central reason that led to Hanâs departure from SM Entertainment.
In late 2008, Han filmed the CCTV mini drama called Stage of Youth in China. In the mini drama, he played Xia Lei, a young man who has to go through numerous obstacles and challenges in order to achieve his dream of becoming the new generation's dancing star. The 12 episode drama was a Chinese New Year Special and also a tribute to the Beijing Olympics 2008. It aired on CCTV-Children (å°'å¿é¢'é") from January 19â"31, 2009.
On December 21, 2009, Han Geng filed for contract termination from SM Entertainment and ceased activities with both Super Junior and Super Junior-M.
2010-2012: Going Solo and Start of Acting Career
After filing his lawsuit with SM Entertainment, Han Geng took some time away from the public eye and worked on his solo debut. On June 22, 2010, Han officially announced his solo career at a press conference held at The Great Wall Of China, revealing the release of his first solo album titled Geng Xin'ãåºå¿ã. On July 6, Han Geng published a complete demo version of his album's title song, "My Logo". The song was produced by American producers, Craig Williams and Rene Van Verseveld. Han Geng and Craig Williams invited Travis Payne and Stacey Walker along with Michael Jackson's This Is It dancers â" Dres Reid, Shannon Holtzapffel, Tyne Stecklein, and Daniel Celebre to join the choreography for the MV of the song.
Geng Xin hit stores throughout Asia on July 27. The name of the album literally means "Geng's heart", but it is also a play on words because it has the same pronunciation as "start anew" in Chinese. There are two versions of the album. In Mainland China, the albums came with the titles of the songs and the song lyrics written in simplified Chinese characters, while in Hong Kong and Taiwan and oversea Chinese communities, they are all written in traditional Chinese characters. Geng Xin topped various major music charts in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. It sold more than 350,000 copies within only 2 months after its release, and to celebrate such remarkable results, a special celebratory version of the album was released on October 1 with a limited number of 20,000 copies. In addition to the 10 songs in the album, the special version contains 7 MVs and a karaoke disc. The album ended up selling over 1 million copies and earning Han over 20 awards. Han also held his first two solo concerts in Beijing on July 17 and 18. Tickets for the 2 concert days were sold out in a record time of 37 minutes. The DVD for his Beijing concerts was released on May 20, 2010, and quickly took the number 1 position on various online retail charts.
With Geng Xinâs success,Han Geng quickly became one of the most marketable young idols in the Mandopop scene. He has picked up several major endorsements, most notably with China Mobile, X-step Sportswear's Urban Series, Pepsi and Nokia. Yishion clothing store signed an eight-year contract with him due to the overwhelming positive feedback. Due to his immense popularity, Han Geng was invited to perform in the 2011 CCTV Spring Festival, where he sang the opening and performed a short dance.
In 2011, Hanâs acting career started to take off. Han was given a cameo role as Deng Xiaoping in the government-funded film The Founding of a Party (å»ºå ä¼ä¸) along with many other A-list Chinese celebrities. The film made its premier in China on June 15, 2011, putting Hanâs name in discussion in Chinaâs film industry.
Han got his first major film role as the male lead in the Sino-Hollywood collaboration action movie My Kingdom (2011) (å¤§æ¦ç") which was released on September 9, 2011. The film is directed by Gao Xiaosong, produced by Andre Morgan and features action directing by Sammo Hung. Han received generally positive feedback for his first major film role, and was acknowledged as a rising star in the Chinese film industry. In mid-2011, Han Geng was cast in the film The First President (ç¬¬ä¸å¤§æ»ç») as Hu Han Min, the secretary of Sun Yat-Sen. The film was released September 30, 2011.
Han Geng also became an icon in the Chinese fashion industry shortly after starting his solo career, constantly gracing the covers of top-tier fashion magazines. He became the youngest person to ever grace the cover of Harper's BAZAAR China at the age of 26, and the youngest artist for the cover of MR Hong Kong at the age of 27. He is also the first ever mainland Chinese artist to appear on the cover of L'OFFICIEL HOMMES China; the issue was a double cover, both of which featured Han. In January 2012, he was invited to the 2012 Milan fashion week by Salvatore Ferragamo.
Han's growing popularity earned him a second invitation to the 2012 CCTV Spring Festival, where he performed a short story explaining the origin of Chinese New Year.
On June 11, 2012, Han released a preview teaser of his 2nd album, featuring an MV teaser of his title song "çè (Wild Cursive)". The preview announced his return to the Mandopop scene after taking a year off to focus on his acting career. Later in the month, his album tracklist and subsequent songs and MVs including "å°ä¸'é¢å · (Clown Mask)" and "èåçµé (Betrayal of the Soul)" were released. Interestingly enough, Han decided to release all of his new songs online before the official release of his second album Hope in the Darknessãå¯'æ´ãon July 29, 2012. Despite this, Hope in the Darkness still topped the charts.
Han also kicked off his "Hope in the Darkness World Tour" on July 28, 2012 at Beijing MasterCard Center. Confirmed tour stops include Beijing, Shanghai, Shengyang, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou and Thailand, with rumoured stops in U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan as well. His concert in Shenyang marked his 1000th day of going solo and attracted over 30,000 people, a large rise from the less than 3000 seats venue his first concert tour was held at, showing his immense growth in popularity in two years of going solo.
2012-Present: Focus on Acting and International Recognition
On September 17, 2012, Han Geng was nominated for the MTV European Music Awards' Best Asia Act, ironically pitting him against his former group, Super Junior. On October 15, 2012, it was announced that he had won the Asian category and would be moving on to compete for the Best Asia and Pacific Act, which he later won as well. Han was then invited to the award ceremony in Frankfurt, Germany to compete for Best Worldwide Act against Rihanna, Dima Bilan, Ahmed Soultan, and Restart. On November 11, 2012, Han was announced as the winner of the MTV European Music Awards' Best Worldwide Act, earning him his first major international award.
On March 24, 2013, Han attended Nickelodeon's 2013 Kids' Choice Awards at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, and won his second international award: Favorite Asian Act. Other contenders included South Korea's Psy, Malaysia's Shila Amzah, and the Philippines' Sarah Geronimo.
After achieving these milestones in music, Han put his focus back into acting, starring in Vicki Zhaoâs directorial debut So Young (è´æ'ä»¬ç»å°éå»çé'æ¥) as Lin Jing. The film was released on April 26, 2013 and became a major success at the Chinese box office, grossing over 700 million yuan (US$115 million). The movie also cemented Hanâs position in the Chinese film industry as his acting drew much positive feedback. On July 8, 2013, Han began filming for a romantic comedy Ex-Files (åä»»æ"»ç¥) as the male lead.
On July 14, 2013, Michael Bay announced on his website the casting of Han Geng in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Han Geng is extremely active in many charities and constantly tells his fans that instead of buying gifts for him, they should use their resources to help those in need. In response to Han's request, his fans, known as Gengfans (åºé¥, lit. "GengRice") often gather together to go to poor regions in China to help kids and families in need in Han Geng's name. They call this project "Let Love Fly." Such charities have become a tradition among Gengfans during Han Geng's birthday every year.
Han Geng is noted for donating most of his 2008 income to the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. After going solo, he became even more active in doing non-profit activities. In 2010, Han donated 100,000RMB to the 2010 Yunnan Drought. He also became a spokesperson for "I Want To Go To School Kappa 1200 Help the School Children Project," a charity designed to help underprivileged Chinese children go to school. While most celebrities who participated sponsored one child through the program, Han chose to sponsor ten, and Gengfans sponsored another 124. Han also recorded a song with Olivia Ong to promote the charity. Later in the year, he participated in the "Water Cellars for Mother Project" in Hong Kong and became an ambassador for the program.
In March 2011, Han showed up at a Gengfan charity event at a remote elementary school in Hebei bringing desks, chairs and various school supplies. This later became an annual event and he would visit the school every year in March. Later in the month, he recorded another charity song "å©å (Children)" with various artists in order to promote child-trafficking awareness. Also in 2011, Han became a spokesperson for the "Sunflower Project," which aims to provide electricity to students in rural areas of China so that they can complete their studies. Later in the year, Han Geng became the Mainland China initiator for the "Love Life" charity movement, which encourages everyone to start with small actions around them and do more than they say. This initiative was responded by many other artists.
In 2012, he became the ambassador for the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviationâs "Backpack of Love" program. He recorded âæç¾å¥½çæªæ¥ (The Best Tomorrow)â with Jane Zhang for the Ai You Foundation youth program. In July amidst album promotions, he participated in Si Yuan Focus Foundationâs visits to several childrenâs homes and became an ambassador for the foundation.
In September 2013, Han participated in MTV EXIT's anti-human trafficking campaign as a special host for Human Traffic: China, a 36-minute documentary aimed at raising awareness to help prevent human trafficking in China. The documentary was produced with the support of China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the United Nations Inter Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Walk Free, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The documentary is in Mandarin with English subtitles, and is available rights-free and at no cost to broadcasters.
Before his debut, Han entered Korea with a vacation visa and had to return to China every three months for a new one. After debuting in 2005, his company obtained an E-6 (Entertainment Industry) passport, allowing him to stay for longer periods. However, a Chinese passport strictly limited his promotional activities and appearances in various broadcasting corporations in Korea. By law, a Chinese passport holder is only allowed to perform on three television stations. Han was allowed to perform on KBS and SBS, as stated by Lee Soo Man during a Harvard Korean Wave conference in early 2007. Fellow labelmate, Zhang Liyin, also experienced the same issue. Initially, the company did not know of the procedures and was fined because of it. Before Han signed contracts with KBS and SBS, he performed on stage with a mask and a hat to hide his face on screen. Many thought Han was a backup dancer until three months later when his bandmate Kim Heechul finally revealed him to the media by publicly taking off his mask.
Despite visa restrictions, Han performed with the rest of Super Junior at the 2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival and the 2007 Golden Disk Awards. Both award ceremonies aired on channels that Han was restricted to perform on.
On December 21, 2009, Han Geng filed for contract termination from his former company SM Entertainment. The following day, December 22, 2009, Han Geng's lawyer released the reasons for the contract termination: the contract had provisions in SM Entertainment's favor, the 13-year contract length was unlawful, it would take an unfair sum of money to end the contract, he was not allowed to request to revise his contract, he was forced to do things that were not in his contract, he was forced to do things against his will, he was fined if he disobeyed the company, missed any events or was late, and there was unfair profit distribution. Along with this, it was disclosed that because of SM Entertainment's refusal to give him a day off in over two years, he had developed gastritis and kidney disease.
Han Geng's current manager, Sun Le, also submitted a statement to the Korean courts citing SM Entertainment's violation of Han Geng's rights. This statement was later leaked to the public via the internet. Though many suspected the statement to be fan created, it was later confirmed as legitimate. Sun Le's statement contended that Han Geng was forced to wear a mask due to SM Entertainment's ill handling of the visa issue, SM Entertainment purposely discriminated against Han Geng and his family, SM Entertainment refused to cooperate or listen to any of Han Geng's suggestions, SM Entertainment purposely turned down individual activities for Han Geng (including Ariel Lin's "Fireflies" music video, which later starred two other Super Junior members) and SM Entertainment treated Han Geng's potential endorsers poorly.
On 21 December 2010 the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of Han. However a representative of SM Entertainment said that they will file an immediate appeal to reverse the decision On September 25, 2011, the Seoul Courts announced that they had received a request from Han Geng 's attorney to retract his claim made against SM Entertainment on the 21st.
As of September 27, 2011, Han Geng and SM Entertainment have officially come to a mutual agreement regarding Han Geng's contract, closing the case. Han Geng will not continue his exclusive contract with SME and no longer has any legally binding connection with SME, as stated by Yue Hua Entertainment, Han Geng's current management company.
Film and Television
Music Video Appearances for Other Artists
Music Awards Won
Acting Awards Won
Other Awards Won
- "Who is Han Geng?" - Answered YouTube video
- Han Geng's Official Site
- Han Geng's Weibo
- Han Geng's Twitter
- Han Geng's Baidu Bar Official Site (Chinese)