Han Sun-hwa

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Han Sun-hwa
Han Seon-hwa in 2017.jpg
Han in 2017
Native name
Born (1990-10-06) October 6, 1990 (age 28)
Busan, South Korea
  • singer
  • [actress
RelativesHan Seung-Woo (brother)
Musical career
Years active2009–present
Associated actsSecret
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHan Seon-hwa
McCune–ReischauerHan Sŏnhwa

Han Sun-hwa (born October 6, 1990) is a South Korean singer and actress.[2][3] She is a former member of the South Korean girl group Secret. She made her television debut in 2004 while participating in SBS' Superstar Survival as a finalist,[4] and in 2009, she was a regular cast on a variety show called Invincible Youth.[5] Aside from music, she also ventured into acting and made her debut in the 2010 drama, More Charming By The Day.[6] She also acted in several dramas with supporting roles in Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek,[7] God's Gift - 14 Days,[8] and Marriage, Not Dating.[9]

Early life[edit]

Han Sun-hwa was born on October 6, 1990,[10] in Busan, South Korea. She has one younger sister and one younger brother (Han Seung-woo of Victon[4]). Han's mother gave birth to her at the young age of 20.[11] As the eldest child, she took care of her younger siblings by cooking them food and tutoring them when both of their parents had to work. During the East Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, Han's family struggled and recalled that her dream of being an entertainer was getting dim.[11]

Ever since she was young, Han had an interest in art and had always dreamed of becoming an artist. She took after-school art programs in elementary school and managed to win several awards from various art competitions. However, after seeing one of BoA's performances on television, she realized her dream was singing and dancing.[12]


2004–2008: Career beginnings and struggles[edit]

Since then, Han began auditioning for various recording companies; she entered the S.M. Entertainment Youth Best Competition but was eliminated.[12] In 2004, Han started auditioning at companies besides singing competitions.[12] In 2005, she became a finalist on a talent show called Superstar Survival along with 2PM's Taecyeon, Lee Junho and Chansung.[12][13] During the show, Han received vocal and acting training;[13] however, she was eliminated in the fifth episode and went back to Busan.[13]

Following her setback, Han went back to being an ordinary high school student. However, there was a big change in the way Han's peers looked at her:[14] due to false rumors, they thought she was a JYP trainee; Han admitted she became afraid of people because of the jealous stares. Teacher Sung Yong-ho, in charge of the school choir, helped Han by giving her chances to participate in competitions; then, she was admitted to Baekjae Art College.[14] A few days before the college entrance ceremony, she got a call from an agent who watched Superstar Survival and became a trainee in TS Entertainment.

2009–2013: Secret, Invincible Youth, acting debut and rising popularity[edit]

Han hosting Music Core in September 2012

In October 2009, Han, along with Jung Ha-na, Song Ji-eun and Jun Hyo-seong, debuted in the group Secret;[5] prior to their debut, the group was on a documentary show called Secret Story which chronicled their debut process.[15][better source needed] In the same month, Han was chosen as a regular cast member of a South Korean variety show called Invincible Youth;[16][5] the news that a girl group member who hadn't debuted yet would be selected for a variety program caused a huge sensation.[16]

Secret released their debut single "I Want You Back" in October 2009.[17] In April 2010, they released their first mini album entitled Secret Time which spawned the hit single "Magic" and served as their breakthrough song in South Korea.[18][19][20] The same year, Han made her acting debut in the sitcom More Charming By The Day.[6] She next starred in the workplace drama Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek.[21] On December 28, 2010, Han made a cameo appearance on MBC's daily sitcom, All My Love , playing Gain's old college friend.[22]

In 2012, for the year end SBS Gayo Daejeon show, SBS created four idol super groups, a fan vote placed Han into the group designated Mystic White, the group working with producer Kim Do-hoon, created the song "Mermaid Princess" the profits of which was donated to charity.[23][24]

2014–present: Focus on acting[edit]

In 2014, Han got her first lead role MBC's weekend drama Rosy Lovers alongside Lee Jang-woo.[25][26][27][28] CNN International Seoul listed Han as one of the nine rising "it" stars in Korean entertainment citing her as a "multi-tasking" artist.[29] The same year, her performance in tvN romance drama, Marriage, Not Dating[30][9] earned her a nomination for "Best Youth Actress" at the 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival.[citation needed] She also won two best new actress awards from MBC and SBS Drama Awards for her roles in Rosy Lovers[31] and fantasy thriller God's Gift - 14 Days.[8][32]

It was confirmed on September 26, 2016, that Han had not renewed her contract with TS Entertainment and would leave the company in October.[33][34][35] On October 14, 2016, Han joined Huayi Brothers as an actress.[36]

In 2017, Sunhwa starred in the office comedy series Radiant Office,[37][38] as well as teen drama School 2017.[39] In 2018, Sunhwa was cast in MBC's weekend drama My Husband Oh Jak-doo.[40]


Musical style and influences[edit]

Han has said from childhood that she has been influenced by pop and R&B groups such as Fin.K.L, S.E.S. and Shinhwa.[12] Han credits BoA as one of her major influences and idols. She also credits BoA's singing and dancing as influencing her to pursue a musical career.[12]


"I have somewhat of a wacky and laid back personality, and especially when I'm on set, I think I naturally become the "White Paper" character. Even when we were filming, the wrong answer tended to come to mind first. Of course there were times when I did it just for fun."

—Han, on her "White Paper" character.[41]

"White paper", or "baekji" in Korean, is a term coined by Netizens and the cast of Invincible Youth, which is an English equivalent of the "dumb blonde" persona portrayed by Han in that show.[29][42] She played a huge role in increasing Secret's popularity through Invincible Youth and other variety shows because of her dumb blonde persona.[29][41][42]

Endorsements and other activities[edit]

Aside from her works with Secret, she also became active in acting, modelling and frequently participating in variety shows. In November 2010, Han won the best wedding dress idol award on MBC's Bouquet which landed her a magazine cover feature on Wedding 21's December issue.[43]

On February 2, 2011, Han guested on the KBS's Lunar New Year special, Idol Health Beauty Contest, during which she was chosen as the star with the healthiest and most beautiful skin.[44][better source needed] Han, along with many other female idols, participated in a skin evaluation by selected professionals. In the end, results showed that Han's skin appeared 10 years younger than her actual age.[44] In April 2011, Han was chosen as the model for the cosmetics company The Skin House.[29][45] Han reportedly received a $100,000 deposit for her six-month contract.[45] She has since been the company's exclusive model for 2013 until May 2016.[citation needed]

In February 2015, Han signed a deal with popular handbag brand St Scott London as their exclusive model for Spring/Summer 2015 collection.[46][better source needed] In August 2015, it was announced that Han, along with Super Junior's Choi Siwon, would be the honorary ambassador of the 11th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival (JIMFF).[citation needed]

Along with Secret, Han has been featured as a model for various endorsement deals such as Grand Mer,[47][better source needed][48] Nike,[49][better source needed][50] Nene Chicken,[51][better source needed][52] Good Day Soju[53][better source needed] and Parkga[54] among others. Along with Jun Hyo-seong, B.A.P's Kim Him-chan and Bang Yong-guk, Han was chosen as a model for Kellan sportswear 11/12 Winter Collection in September 2011.[55]



Year Title Peak positions Album
Billboard K-pop Hot 100
2012 "Everything is Pretty" (with Yoo Young-jae) 22 18 digital single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Year Title Peak positions Album
2009 "My Boo"
(Untouchable feat. Jun Hyo-seong & Han Sun-hwa)
Untouchable: First Mini Album
2012 "M인어공주 (Mermaid Princess)"
(with Jiyoung, Bora, Han Sun-hwa, Gayoon & Lizzy)
SBS Gayo Daejun The Color Of K-Pop – Mystic White
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Television series[edit]

Year Network Title Role Ref
2010 MBC More Charming by the Day Kim Tae-hee [6]
2011 All My Love Han Sun-hwa (Cameo / ep 27) [22]
2013 KBS2 Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek Lee So-ran [7]
2014 SBS God's Gift - 14 Days Jenny [8]
tvN Marriage, Not Dating Kang Se-ah [9]
MBC Rosy Lovers Baek Jang-mi [26][57]
2017 Ice Mound Han Young-sil/Jang Ha-da [58][59][60]
Radiant Office Ha Ji-na [37][61]
KBS2 School 2017 Han Soo-ji [39]
MBC 20th Century Boy and Girl Jung Da-young (Cameo) [62]
2018 My Husband Oh Jak-doo Jang Eun-jo [40]
The Great Seducer Lawyer (Cameo) [63]
tvN Drama Stage: Goodbye My Life Insurance Yoon [64]

Variety show[edit]

Year Network Title Role Notes Ref
2005 SBS Superstar Survival Herself Finalist
2007 Mnet Dizzy Blind Date Contestant [65]
2009 Secret Story Regular cast
2009-2010 KBS Invincible Youth [5]
2010 MBC I Need a Family Second daughter [66]
KBS Entertainers Emcee
MBC Bouquet Herself Regular cast [67]
SBS Goguma [68]
2012-2013 MBC We Got Married with Hwang Kwanghee [69]
2017 King of Mask Singer Contestant Episode 123, as "Lady Gaga" [70]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2014 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival Best Young Actress Marriage, Not Dating Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Best New Actress Rosy Lovers Won [31]
Popularity Award, Actress Nominated
Best Couple Award with Lee Jang-woo Nominated
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award God's Gift - 14 Days Won [32]
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Rosy Lovers Nominated
2017 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Radiant Office Won [71]
2018 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Weekend Special Project My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh Nominated


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External links[edit]