Many of us were amazed by the global success of Squid Game, the South Korean TV drama series on Netflix. And the fever continues with Hellbound, My Name, We of Us are Dead, etc. We are witnessing the growth and impact of Korean pop culture from K-pop to film and TV drama on a global scale. It is within this context that 26 contemporary Korean words were recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Indeed, the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, is a significant global cultural phenomenon.
With an ESRC South Korea Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Connections grant (44,630 pounds), Dr Hye-Kyung Lee (CMCI) with her colleague Dr Haekyung Um (University of Liverpool) are intending to explore the multifaceted nature of the globalisation of Korean creativity. Their network project ‘Globalizing South Korean Creativity: Exhibiting and Archiving Hallyu, the Korean Wave’ (February 2022 to July 2023) will investigate the process of the institutionalisation, canonisation and mainstreamisation of Korean pop culture and the roles played by Western/UK institutions. Their multidisciplinary network consists of around 20 scholars from S Korea and the UK and will also involve policymakers and industry practitioners. In addition to various network events across two countries, they and their project partner Hanguk University of Foreign Studies will hold a symposium in Seoul in 2023.