Contemporary Korea No.1
The Korean Wave: A New Pop Culture Phenomenon
Copyright © 2011
by Korean Culture and Information Service
All Rights Reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher.
First Published in 2011 by
Korean Culture and Information Service
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
ISBN: 978-89-7375-164-8 04600
ISBN: 978-89-7375-163-1 (set)
Printed in the Republic of Korea
For further information about Korea, please visit:
A New Pop Culture Phenomenon
What’s Korean Pop Culture Got?
K-Dramas: ‘Healthy Power’
K-Pop: ‘Music of Fusion’
The Korean Wave in other Fields
Hallyu in Literature
Will It Continue?
Birth of the Korean Wave
Birth of the Wave
The Beginning of the Wave in Japan
The Wave Goes Global
K-Pop Joins the Wave
The neo-Korean Wave
The New Wave
The Internet Connects the Wave Fast
The Fun of Copying
Distance No Longer a Barrier for K-Dramas
iv The Korean Wave A New Pop Culture Phenomenon
Birth of the Korean Wave v
““Over the past decade, South Korea, with a population
of around 50 million, has become the Hollywood of the
East, churning out entertainment that is coveted by millions of fans stretching from Japan to Indonesia.”
Lara Farrar, CNN World, December 31, 2010
“Hallyu—the Korean wave—is rolling over Asia with pop
music, TV dramas and movies that dazzle audiences from
Tokyo and Beijing to Seattle.”
Lance Dickie, The Seattle Times, June 4, 2006
“Egyptian aficionados of Korean pop culture are a
dedicated group, eager to have their Korean pop dreams
fulfilled and embraced by the community at large. Whether
it’s through films, music, books or food, the ‘Korean wave’ has definitely hit Cairo, and is doing so with much fervor.” Steven Viney, Al-Masry Al-Youm, July 19, 2011
“The booming South Korean presence on television and
in the movies has led Asians to buy up South Korean goods
and to travel to South Korea, traditionally not a popular
Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, June 29, 2005
vi The Korean Wave A New Pop Culture Phenomenon
Birth of the Korean Wave vii
On June 10 and 11, 2011, the 7,000-seat Le Zénith de Paris, one of the largest venues in Paris and a place where most of the great names of French pop music have recorded concerts, was packed with young fans. The two-day event was a joint performance of singers with the leading South Korean management company SM Entertainment, and it was recorded as the “official” debut of K-pop (Korean popular music) on the European stage. The audience, who had previously experienced K-pop mostly through the global video sharing site YouTube, went wild at the dynamic live performance by their favorite groups.
The fans, most of them in their teens or 20s, were not just French. They had come from all over Europe. It was a virtual representation of the continent, with fans from Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, and Serbia. Regardless of their mother tongue, they shouted out the names of each singer, sang along with the lyrics in Korean, and followed the dance moves. The management company shot video footage of the performance, which it posted in real time to its YouTube account. The electric atmosphere was relayed live not only to local fans unable to attend, but to K-pop fans all over the world.
There was intense media coverage of the event. About 20 European media outlets such as French public...
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