If you are a regular reader of KPK, you might remember an announcement for a new site, House of Hallyu, which would feature content related to fan activity as well as house the kpop chronicles project, which collects fan narratives. The House of Hallyu site will remain available (and may transform into something else in the future), but fan content and updates to the kpop chronicles project will become part of the iFans: Mapping Kpop’s International Fandom project. This is an effort to consolidate work on fan cultures as well as expand the kinds of material collected. iFans already documents fan activity such as song and dance covers, and will now begin to document fan projects, including comeback, anniversary and tribute projects by fans.
To remind you, k-pop chronicles is project with one mission: to collect fan accounts about their favorite K-pop groups and artists. The k-pop chronicles site seeks to become the world’s only repository for fan narratives, but it needs YOU to submit your fan narratives. The project accepts written and video narratives of your attitudes and opinions about your favorite K-pop artists. It does not accept fan fiction. Because of ethical concerns, the project only accepts written and video narratives from individuals 16 and over.
Creating Your Fan Narrative
In order to submit your fan narrative, you first have to create it. Submissions should be in English (or subtitled in English for video submissions), and should not include profanity, mature or inappropriate content, or bashing of other K-pop artists or fandoms (this is for a general audience). Fans may submit more than one narrative, but each submission should focus on only one artist/group. You may submit a written or video submission:
Written submissions: Written submissions should be 500-750 words in length and created in Word (or with a similar word processing software, including Google Docs).
Video submissions: Video submissions should be no longer than 3 minutes.
For each submission, fans should identify ONE group or solo artist and talk about the following:
- How did you become a fan of the chosen group/artist?
- What is your favorite song OR video and why?
- How do you show your support for your favorite group/ artist? Do you participate in activities like: comeback projects, Twitter trending, concerts, writing on a blog/running a Tumblr, fanmade video, album reviews, cover dance teams, YouTube channels, lyrics translation/interpretation, etc)?
- What are one or two of your most important memories related to your chosen group/artist? This can be a live performance, performance or appearance on a music show, variety show, fan meet, interview, etc.
You will be able to add the URL of an image of your chosen artist/group to be used with your account at the submission site.
Submitting Your Narrative
After you complete your narrative, you can submit it two ways:
Written submissions: Visit the submission site for written narratives, where you will complete the consent form, copy and paste your narrative and submit the URL for the image of your favorite group.
Video Submissions: Visit the submission site for video narratives, where you will complete the consent form, submit the URL for the image of your favorite group and upload your video.
Submit NOW!!! kpop chronicles is the brainchild of Crystal S. Anderson. Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visuals are an important part of K-pop, and understanding them is crucial to understanding the meaning of K-pop and its spread globally.
In addition to music videos, images that accompany promotions for music releases, photo shoots featured in magazines and endorsements for an array of products are seen, collected and exchanged by fans. Not just important fan activity, such archiving in the lay sense is important to the preservation and memory-keeping of the visual narrative of K-pop.
In addition to the promotional function they perform, K-pop images also perform cultural work, constructing multifaceted representations of Korean identity. Anne Anlin Cheng, professor of English and African American studies at Princeton University, sees “celebrity as a politics of recognition and glamour as a politics of personhood” (1023). This has special resonance for raced bodies:
Glamour’s imperviousness thus draws on a crisis of personhood that is inherently political and maybe even strangely liberating for a woman and a minority–liberating not in the simple sense of acquiring a compensatory or impenetrable beauty. . . but in the sense of temporary relief from the burdens of personhood and visibility. It may seem counterintuitive or even dangerous to talk about the raced and sexualized body’s longing to be thinglike or to disappear into things, but it is the overcorporealized body that may find the most freedom in fantasies of corporeal dematerialization or, alternatively, of material self-extension (1032).
In other words, the highly stylized images that pepper K-pop represent a visual construction of Korean identities, visuals of how Koreans project themselves globally. For ethnic people who have been constructed by others, such images are important because they do cultural work, deconstructing or altering images of Koreans and the ideas that accompany them.
I have started a new section in my digital humanities project, Hallyu Harmony, to document and curate images of K-pop groups and artists. In doing so, I hope to be able to make meaningful statements about the kinds of representations of Korean men and women that permeate K-pop, detecting patterns that become apparent when such images are collected together.
In the Visuals section of Hallyu Harmony, image galleries are organized into three broad categories:
- Casual, images designed to appeal to everyone
- Chic, images designed to represent more sophisticated styling attainable by most
- Couture, images designed to capture more fantastic styling not designed for normal wear
Within these categories, images are further organized by concepts, magazine shoots and other promotional images. Concepts for music releases are placed in rough chronological order, allowing users to see how an artist or group’s image evolves over time.
The image gallery for Girls’ Generation, shows a greater variety of images than their reputation may suggest. A review of their concepts show that they are equally likely to promote a casual, chic or couture image. However, they are less likely to reflect a couture image in photo shoots for magazines. On the other hand, early observations of 2NE1’s image gallery (in progress) suggest that even though the group is known for its fierce reputation and image that many fans can relate to, the group reflect a chic image for many concepts.
Documenting such images presents challenges. Many images gathered from the Internet are divorced from their original context as they are shared by fans and K-pop media. As a result, tracing an image’s origins is not always possible. In some cases, the availability of images within their context is related to the commitment of Korean agencies to preserve the context of images. For example, the H.O.T image gallery (in progress) features many images, but few that can be placed in their original context. SM Entertainment‘s sites do not provide information for images on its H.O.T site. On the other hand, many of the concept images in S.E.S.’s image gallery can be associated with their original context due to the continued access to the group’s SM site. Other sites, like DSP Media (formerly DSP Entertainment) only includes current artists on its website, so locating images for Fin.K.L‘s image gallery (in progress) will be challenging. Images will have to be obtained from other sources. Moreover, it is easier to document 2nd and 3rd generation K-pop groups and artists like SNSD, while first generation groups like H.O.T and S.E.S prove more challenging because the groups are not active.
However, their fanbases are. Fan sites provide the bulk of the images documented, thus acting as valuable informal archives. As more image galleries are completed, I hope to write about the patterns that emerge from images from individuals and groups and compare them with other K-pop artists.
Cheng, Anne Anlin. “Shine: On Race, Glamour and the Modern.” PMLA 126.4 (2011): 1022-1041.
Shine On: Glamour, Image and K-pop by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
by Crystal S. Anderson, PhD
As the number of female groups increase in number in K-pop, commentators and scholars continue to focus on the meaning of the representations produced by these groups. While some argue that such representations are geared towards men, this ignores the way the majority female fanbases of these groups construct meaning of these representations.
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.
University of South Carolina Lancaster
During KPK’s early days in 2011, Dr. Anderson and other KPK founders were having quite a difficult time accessing some Kpop entertainment companies’ artist websites. They kept encountering what they called, “the circle of death,” and then timing out. I wasn’t having this problem and had just discovered the Screencast-O-Matic tool, so I decided to record the sites and send the video links to my KPK colleagues.
And that is how the the KPK Digital Documentation (DD) project was born.
While the original intent of my website recordings was to share the Kpop website love, I quickly realized that recording Kpop websites could be useful in other ways: to track changes in Kpop web design, to understand how Korean entertainment companies use websites to engage Korean and international Kpop fans, and what roles these sites seem to play in the company’s larger business, marketing, and promotional plans – particularly when it comes to attracting new talent and integrating social media channels and tools.
Recording websites can take between 2 to 15 minutes per site- occasionally more if the website is dense. I choose to record the websites without sound in order to avoid copyright infringement and so that visitors may enjoy and engage in unbiased viewing or analysis of the website. In Kpop, many artists and groups release several music projects a year, so I keep up with Kpop news outlets to find out about debuts and comebacks, and I try to record the different websites for each project. In this way, the DD project creates depth not only by seeking out general trends, but also monitoring the evolution of individual groups and artists. Additionally, if artists and groups promote in Japan, I record those websites if they are available.
One of the first things I noticed is that SM Entertainment was the only company that still gave historical access to websites supporting their early artists (Shinhwa, S.E.S., Yoo Joung Jin, etc.), so I quickly recorded those websites. It’s a good thing that I did, because in 2012, the company completely redesigned their website, removing any content about artists who were not currently on their roster. SM Entertainment continues to allow access to the older websites of groups who are still on their roster (e.g., Girls Generation, SHINee, TVXQ! etc.); additionally this company provides links to modified liner notes (e.g., lyrics, music publishing information, etc.). Those sites have been recorded for posterity, as well.
In contrast, other companies like YG Entertainment or FNC Music Entertainment only offer current editions of artists websites – that is, viewers only have access to the current promotional concept of a group or artist, even if some historical information may be available (see below). Additionally, some companies (Starship Entertainment, TS Entertainment) only offer quick profile information about their artists on their websites. Instead they choose to use Cafe Daum’s “internet cafe” sites, which act as a hybrid website/forum, to promote their artists. Since Cafe Daum Official Kpop artist sites are generally designed to reach Korean Kpop fans, I do not record these sites for KPK.
Despite these differences, most Kpop artist websites have common elements:
- Artist profiles (member names, birthdays, blood type, hobbies)
- Discography lists
- Photo galleries
- Music snippets
- Activity calendars
- Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and until mid-2014, Me2day)
- Links to online music purchasing and downloading sites (e.g., Melon, Olleh, iTunes)
- Message boards (from the artists, their staff, and for fan-to-fan communication)
- Official fanclub portals and exclusive content (often password protected)
- International language options (default language is Korean with some English)
- Links to the company’s business site, which include audition information
From Collection to Curation
When this project first began, KPK members were more engaged in collecting information, so DD videos were listed on the KPK website, separately from the artist profiles. As we move on to curation activities, these video links are now included in KPOPIANA artist exhibits. At press time, KPK has a DD library of almost 500 Kpop artist websites, from all kinds of Korean entertainment companies and encompassing all kinds of artists, Kpop choreographers, some international fansites, and even Kdrama actors. Currently we are focused on releasing DD items pertaining to Kpop artists, with plans to include other items in the future. The Library of Congress (n.d.) notes that the average length of a website is about 44 days. Considering the frenetic pace of music production in Kpop, this length may sometimes be shortened, making the DD project a useful tool in the study of Hallyu and its life on the Internet.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). Importance of digital preservation: Special presentation. Accessed April 17, 2014, from http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/about/presentation.html.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.
University of South Carolina Lancaster
Welcome to Part 4 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu. These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL +F function).
To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titled “For Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.” Click for Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3 of the bibliography.
This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at email@example.com
NOTE: In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.
Dator, Jim. and Yongseok Seo. (2004). Korea as the wave of a future: The emerging dream society of icons
and aesthetic experience. Journal of Futures Studies 9(1): 31–44. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/9-1/04.pdf?referer=www.clickfind.com.au
Cho, Hae Joang. (2005). Reading the “Korean Wave” as a Sign of Global Shift. Korea Journal 45: 147–82. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.ekoreajournal.net/issue/view_pop.htm?Idx=3359
Mangliankay, Roald. (2006). When the Korean wave ripples. IIAS Newsletter, 42: 15. Accessed 27 March 2014 from https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/12766/IIAS_NL42_15.pdf?sequence=1
Yang-hwan, Jeong. (2007). Comics soar as new Korean wave. Korea focus on current topics, 15(1):67-69. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://www.koreafocus.or.kr/images/upload/pdf/101439.pdf
Shin, Hyunjoon. (2009). Have you ever seen the Rain? And who’ll stop the Rain?: the globalizing project of Korean pop (Kpop). Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 10(4): 507-523.
Nederveen Pieterse, Jan. (1995). Globalization as hybridization. In M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (Eds.) Global Modernities. pp.45 – 68. London: Sage.Cho, Uhn. 2005. Positioning the Korean wave in the nexus between globalization and localization. Korea Journal, 45(4): 143-146.
Hyun, Oh-seok. 2004. Taking advantage of the Hallyu wave. Korea Focus, 12(6): 47-49.
Lee, Hee-Eun. (2005). Othering ourselves: identity and globalization in Korean popular music, 1992-2002. Thesis, University of Iowa.(see also, Identity and Nationalism)
Kim, Youna. (2005). Experiencing globalization. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(4): 445-463.
Kim, Ju Young. (2007). Rethinking media flow under globalisation: rising Korean wave and Korean TV and film policy since 1980s. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/1153/1/WRAP_THESIS_Kim_2007.pdf
Seo, Yongseok. (2006). East Asian response to the globalization of culture: perceptional change and cultural policy. In J. Dator, Dick Pratt and Yongseok Soo (Eds.) Fairness, globalization and public institutions: East Asia and beyond. X: University of Hawai’i Press. pp. 319 – X. (see also, Culture)
Yang, J. (2007). Globalization, nationalism and regionalization: The case of Korean popular culture. Development and Society, 36(2): 177-199.
Sung, Sang Yeon. (2008). Globalization and the regional flow of popular music: the role of the Korean wave (Hanliu) in the construction of Taiwanese identities and Asian values. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Le, Lan Xuan. (2009). Imaginaries of the Asian modern: text and context at the juncture of nation and region. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: The case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication, 19(2), 137 -15I .
Iwabuchi, Koichi. (2010). Globalization, East Asian media cultures and their politics. Asian Journal of Communication, 20(2): 197-212.
Hogarth, Hyun-key Kim. (2013). The Korean wave: An Asian reaction to Western-dominated globalization. Perspectives on Global Development & Technology, 12(1/2): 135-171.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Battle debuted in December 2006 after being formed on the popular television show Let’s Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa!. The group consisted of five members: Ryu (Won Seung Jae), Ki-hyun (Shin Ki Hyun), Lio (Park Ji Woon), Tae-hwa (Jin Tae Hwa), Hwi-chan (Kim Tae Kwan), and Chris (Jung Hyung Rok). The group members were personally chosen by Shinhwa members, who were hosting the television show at the time. During the group’s short tenure (they are currently inactive), Battle toured Thailand and China. . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
Piggy Dolls is signed with LOEN Entertainment and debuted in early 2011 with members Min Sun (Kim Min Sun), Jiyeon (Lee Ji Yeon) and Jieun (Lee Ji Eun). The group’s name and unique concept was based on their looks, which went against the Korean beauty standard of maintaining a slim momjjang (good body shape) and instead focused on their strong vocals. Regardless of their original concept, within a year, the group revealed slimmer physiques. In 2013, the group was replaced with three new members (Kang Eun Young, Lee Eun Young ,and Lee Ji Young). . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
Byul (Kim Go Eun) is a solo artist known for her prolific work in singing ballads for Korean television and film. Her name, (별,) means “star” in Korean. While she was discovered by Jin Young Park (JYP) and was signed for a short while with JYP Entertainment, Byul is currently signed with Spring Entertainment. In 2012, Byul married Korean comedian and entertainer HaHa (Ha Dong Hoon). . . . Click here to read more at KPOPIANA!
S.E.S is an acronym for “Sea, Eugene, Shoo,” the names of the three members of the group. Formed in 1997 by SM Entertainment, this female group consisted of Sea (better known as Bada, born Choi Sung Hee), Eugene (Kim Yoo Jin) and Shoo (Yoo Soo Young) and became the first successful female group in the Hallyu K-pop era. . . . See the entire exhibit at Hallyu Harmony: A Cultural History of Kpop.