When South Korean b-boy Hong10 started out, his local hip-hop scene consisted of a collection of video tapes, but the moves he's taught himself down the years have take him right to the top. Now he's featured in the new documentary on the Red Bull BC One competition Turn It Loose...
What persuaded you to get into B-Boying?
I don’t really know what happened at the outset, It was all a little random at the start. When I began I didn’t tell myself that I was dancing; I was just testing out some moves where I lived. In fact, where I grew up in South Korea, there was nothing in terms of B-Boying. When I started, about 12 years ago, I had no role model, apart from the few rare B-Boy scenes I would see on the TV. We had some video tapes and I learnt from watching those.I realised we were onto something in 2002 when we won the Battle of the Year with my crew.
You won the Red Bull BC One in 2006, which is a one-on-one competition, but you've also won a lot with your crew. What is the difference?
I represent the Seven Commandos, Drifterz and Project Soul crews, and we have won competitions together, notably in Germany and the UK. What is interesting in a crew is that we all have totally different personalities and distinct styles, but beyond that the whole crew has to share its own personality and style. The crew should be as one and it is thanks to that we have won a few competitions. When you are alone, you are alone; there is no other definition that can be given. You are simply out there by yourself.
How did you feel when you won the Red Bull BC One in 2006?
I was happy to start with, I thought back over all of the time I had spent working, and all those times I had told myself that I was going to lose when I saw others training. But I also think that everything during the journey, from the general atmosphere to the people I met, as well as my state of mind, all had a part to play in the victory. I felt good, relaxed and focussed at the same time. The conditions couldn’t have been better.
What has the film given you?
Before seeing it I knew the other people involved because we had seen each other during competitions, but this film opened my eyes. We are all B-Boys and all totally dedicated to that, but I also realised that we all have entirely different lives. We have grown up in very different political and religious environments; we don’t have the same lifestyles, or the same resources. I am thinking in particular at the times when you see Benji training. Africa is not America, and yet we are all doing the same discipline. It was a sort of shock for me; I learned a lot watching it.
Did you enjoy being followed around by a film crew?
I am a very humble person, even quite shy, so it was a little difficult at the start. But deep down, I regret not having let go a little more in front of the camera. I didn’t know that the film would be so good, so honest; otherwise I would have let myself go a little more. In the end, I think Alastair Siddons, the director, really understood the point of view of the dancers and captured this well. I am really happy to have been involved in this adventure.
Find out more about Hong10 and Turn It Loose.