Kim Min-ki

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Kim Min-ki
Born (1951-03-31) March 31, 1951 (age 67)
Iri, North Jeolla Province, South Korea
GenresFolk rock
  • Singer
  • composer
  • playwright
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Min-gi
McCune–ReischauerKim Minki

Kim Min-ki (Hangul김민기; Hanja金敏基; born March 31, 1951)[1][2] is a South Korean singer, composer, and playwright. He is best known for his 1970 song, "Morning Dew," and for his 1994 Korean adaptation of the German musical, Linie 1.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Kim was born on March 31, 1951, the youngest of 10 children, in Iri (present-day Iksan), North Jeolla Provence, South Korea. His family moved to Seoul in 1963, and he enrolled in Seoul National University to study fine arts in 1969.[2]


Kim first came to prominence as the composer of the tune "Achim Isul" (Korean: "아침 이슬", literally "Morning dew"), which was written in 1970 and performed by Korean folk singer Yang Hee-eun. The song was a major pop music hit in Korea in the 70s, and Kim became a prominent figure in blending Korean folk and pop musics, as well as an outspoken political activist and representative of youth culture.[4] Kim's songs discussed the Americanization of Korean culture and questioned relations between North and South Korea, and his lyrical and musical style were a major influence on the genre known as Norae Undong ("Song Movement") which became popular in the 1980s.[4] He released nine albums before 1975, at which time his music was censored by the government; his albums were pulled from record stores, playing of his music over the radio or singing it in public was banned, and he was not permitted to release material under his own name.[5] He composed the music for a 1981 film, The Ball Shot by a Midget, which was not permitted to be used by government censors who reviewed the film.[6] This moratorium continued until June 26, 1987, when all restrictions on the performance of his material were lifted.[5]

During his period of censorship, Kim turned to writing plays, which began to be performed after 1987. He also formed an acting troupe, Hakchon, which performs musicals he composed. His adaption of the German rock musical Linie 1 was first performed in 1994 and has been given over 1,000 times in Korea, as well as being performed in China and Japan.[5] In 2007 he received the Goethe Medal.[7]


Year Award-giving body Category Nominated work Ref.
2001 Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize in Theater Blood Brothers (의형제) [8]
2007 Goethe-Institut Goethe Medal N/A [1]
2013 Korean Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award [9]
2018 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards Order of Cultural Merit [10]


  1. ^ a b Bak, Don-gyu (February 2, 2007). "김민기씨, 독일 최고 문화훈장 '괴테 메달' 받는다". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b I, Jin-sun (April 3, 2015). "아침이슬, 그 사람". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Lee, Claire (August 13, 2013). "Cultural icons reflect spirit of the times". The Korea Herald. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Provine, Hwang, and Hershaw. Korea. The Rough Guide to World Music, vol.2. Rough Guides, 2000, p.165.
  5. ^ a b c Kim Min-ki, KBS Global. Accessed September 26, 2007.
  6. ^ Korean Film Archives. Accessed September 26, 2007.
  7. ^ Die Preisträger, Goethe-Institut (German).
  8. ^ I, Dae-hyeon (March 30, 2001). "제 37회 백상예술대상 시상식 / 김민기 김수현씨 '리베라 메' 대상 영예". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Seo, Jeong-min (February 28, 2013). "버터플라이·싸이 '화려한 귀환'…인디·비주류 음악 대중속으로". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  10. ^ On, Ra-in (October 10, 2018). "[포토뉴스]'2018 대중문화예술상' 올해 수상자는?". The Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved November 4, 2018.