The Korean Wave, δημοσίευση στο Aesthetica Μagazine [28/9/2022]Marilena Pateraki
A design and technology exhibition at V&A positions South Korea as “a leading cultural powerhouse in the era of social media and digital culture today.”
In 2021, Squid Game became Netflix’s most popular series of all time. The South Korean show – which resonated for its sharp social commentary and nail-biting drama – accrued over 1.65 billion view hours in the 28 days post-release. Likewise, in August of this year, K-pop stars BLACKPINK released Pink Venom: Spotify’s most-streamed song by a female artist in a single day in 2022 so far. South Korean media is consistently breaking records; a memorable example might be PSY’s hit single Gangnam Style, which took its place as the first music video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube in 2012.
Now, PSY’s song opens a new show at London’s V&A. Hallyu! The Korean Wave focuses on the pop culture phenomenon known as ‘hallyu’ – or ‘Korean Wave’ – which rose to prominence in Asia during the late 1990s and has since spread worldwide. V&A’s exhibition is equally wide-reaching, with over 200 objects across music, cinema, art, fashion and more. The movement, as Curator Rosalie Kim explains: “has transformed the country’s image from one devastated by the Korean War to that of a leading cultural powerhouse in the era of social media and digital culture today.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, post-war South Korea experienced rapid industrialisation and economic growth, and was propelled onto the international stage in 1988 with the Seoul Summer Olympics. The following decade saw innovations in IT turn the country into one of the most digitally connected in the world. Examples of such electronics – including the world’s first commercial MP3 player – are included in Hallyu!. Shown at the top of the page is a monumental 1986 sculpture by pioneering artist Nam June Paik (1932-2006): the “Father of Video Art.” The towering piece features 33 TV monitors.
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