The bad influence of K-Pop?
It is an obvious fact that K-pop and K-dramas are the mainstream of Hallyu. Because of this, critics emphasize the negative effects of Hallyu, claiming that Hallyu contents are degrading the overall image of Korean culture.
Yet, taking the current status of the global market into consideration, it would be foolish to define Hallyu as a bad influence on Korean culture. Hermann Winkler, Swarovski’s senior vice president of sales operations in North Asia, said, “When you put ‘K’ [for Korea] in front of something, it suddenly works magic.” Unlike the common thought that people will be attracted to the renowned jewelry brand itself, consumers are pulled in by the letter “K.” Due to the so-called “ripple effect of Hallyu,” people are becoming more and more interested in the small country in the East.
Another example is the 2016 S/S Chanel Cruise collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld that was exposed to the public during a fashion show that took place at one of Seoul’s landmarks, Dongdaemun Design Plaza. In addition to the designer Lagerfeld, world-famous models and hot K-pop stars also attended the show.
Lagerfeld presented a resort collection that was inspired by the geometric patterns and colors of Korea. In a May 4th Style.com review, Tim Blanks wrote about the show, “From a cultural point of view, the K-pop phenomenon had all the color and sugar-rush kick that Lagerfeld could possibly crave.”
As these two examples demonstrate, the mainstream contents of Hallyu are triggering the markets of various fields and grabbing the attention of the world. Therefore, instead of criticizing the exterior quality of K-pop and K-dramas, experts should analyze the phenomenon in depth and see what sort of power the letter “K” actually has on the culture of Korea.
Kim Byeong-taek Senior at Bulgok High School
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