The 7th Asia Model Festival Awards (AMFA) took place in South Korea recently, spanning across two whole days with the inaugural Korea Beauty Festival Show and the 2nd Asia New Face Model Contest taking place on 17th January, and the main event on 18th January 2012.
Held at the majestic Olympic Hall in the Seoul Olympic Park, our very own supermodel Amber Chia was given the honour of cutting the ceremonial ribbon - alongside the Chairman of Korea Model Association (KMA) Yang Eui-Sig, Chairman of Korea Pro Makeup Job Interchange Association Ahn Mi-Ryeo, Chairman of Korea Modeling Society Kim Dong-Soo, President of Model Center International Toh Shin-Woo, and several other guests of honour - at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Korea Beauty Festival Show.
Chia was part of the officiating in her capacity as the principal of her brainchild Amber Chia Academy, which serves as the exclusive representative of AMFA for the countries Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Hosted by the KMA and Korea Pro Makeup Job Interchange Association, the Korea Beauty Festival Show featured an array of performances, fashion shows, hair shows, and makeup showcases.
Amongst the highlights were the impressive displays of body painting, fantasy makeup, as well as special effects makeup. Also, in a celebrity fashion show by famed South Korean designer Park Jong-Chul, familiar faces that we can be proud of on the runway included Chia and Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry.
Deborah Henry walks for a Korean designer.
Later that evening, 45 up-and-coming models from 11 Asian countries battled out at the 2nd Asia New Face Model Contest 2012. Hosted by the KMA and Korean Modeling Society, this contest serves as a gateway for newcomers in the industry to make their career debuts in fashion weeks not just in Korea but all around Asia, on top of opportunities to secure contracts with reputable entertainment management agencies across the region.
The winners of the (regional) AMFA New Face Model Search Malaysia 2011 - Wafa Johanna de Korte, Soo Xu Ze, Kao Yu Ling, Kurt Chin, and Jane See.
held their own during this international debut and made our country proud despite fierce competition given by other young models from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.
After facing more than ten judges that hail from different Asian countries, which included Chia, during pre-judging sessions as well as several different rounds of runway competitions, Li Peilin (from China) and D. Bayartogtokh (from Mongolia) were eventually named the female and male winners respectively of the 2nd Asia New Face Model Contest 2012.
However, Malaysia did make her presence felt and brought back a subsidiary title when De Korte won the (female) Traditional Dress Award, for donning a ‘kebaya’ and sarong ensemble.
“We (Malaysia) may not have won the contest, but I’m proud to say that we did not come home empty handed. And I’m more than honoured to have received an award that is of international recognition,” beamed De Korte, a 17 year old exotic beauty of Malay and Dutch parentage. Other subsidiary titles given out at the contest were the Photogenic Award, Popular Award, and Best Dress Award.
The following day, the KMA hosted the main event of the 7th AMFA 2012, where multiple awards of excellence were given out during a gala ceremony, most notably the Asia Model Star Award. Potential recipients of this award were recommended by their respective countries, and the eventual winners were determined through the strict but fair evaluation from KMA experts, based on the model’s body of work, portfolio, activities and achievements.
Each (Asian) country is entitled to one female and one male Asia Star Model Award and this year, the recipients for Malaysia is acclaimed beauty queen and model Deborah Henry,
as well as model and actor KS Tan. “I’m incredibly happy and deeply honoured to be representing Malaysia in receiving this award,” said Henry. “This award and recognition will only serve as a boost for me to work even harder for further success,” added Tan.
Henry and Tan were honoured alongside their peers from Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, Japan, China, and Korea. Amongst other prominent figures receiving awards at the 7th AMFA 2012 were renowned Hong Kong singer and actor Leo Ku, and also South Korean girl group KARA.
The gala event was infused with further grandiose by star-studded performances by South Korea’s finest. Guests were entertained by girl groups Rainbow and A Pink, boy bands Beast and MBLAQ, singer and actress IU, as well as Korean-American recording artist Jay Park, among others. The event was broadcasted by SBS Plus, Arirang TV, China Guangxi TV, China CCTVCH2, Philippines GMA TV, Mongolia UBS TV, and Korea Christian Broadcasting, just to name a few.
Notable faces from the Malaysian entourage spotted at the event were Chia, homegrown catwalk guru Benjamin Toong,
The 7th AMFA 2012 is sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Korea Tourism Organisation, Korean Modeling and Talent Association, Korea Commercial Film Maker Union, Korean Fashion Association, Korea Broadcasting Actors Association, Republic of Philippines GMA Artist Center, Japan Model Agency Association, China Model Association, China Bentley Culture Development Co. Ltd., and America Global One.