Korean Wave Ripple Effect
In the third series on the Korean Wave, or hallyu, The Diplomat investigates the spread of the phenomenon to some unexpected places.
South Korea has set its sights on becoming a major contemporary cultural hub in Asia, whether through its increasingly prominent movie industry, rapidly growing design market, or proliferating modern art facilities.
Michael Shin, Korean culture analyst and professor at the University of Cambridg said that a common theme in many Korean dramas will be someone from a lower class background working their way up to the highest echelons of society—the kind of storyline that has a universal appeal that transcends South Korea’s own strong cultural emphasis on maintaining social status.
“So to that extent, China’s cultural sphere is heavily governed by the state which is, I think, slightly out of sync with people’s desires. So they want something that pleases their own aesthetics and cultural values, not from China and not from Japan…and not from America. So where do they go? It’s Korean products,” said Jung-Bong Choi, assistant professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Art