The next generation K-pop stars?
When the virtual world meets K-pop!

aespa with its virtual members

One of the biggest K-pop production & management companies, SM Entertainment has recently presented a new girl group called ‘aespa’. It became immediately a hot potato yet controversial due to its interesting setting, which is about including virtual members in the group. ‘Ae’ in ‘aespa’ is a combination of the initials of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Experience’. […]


Can K-pop be more politically sensitive?
K-pop industry is asked to be politically ‘woke’ as it expands globally

Tzuyu holding a Taiwanese flag on Korean TV Show My Little Television in 2015, courtesy of MBC

In my previous article, I talked about the K-pop fandom and its activism. This time, I want to dig deeper into political topics that are linked to the K-pop scene. If the K-pop fandom is politically sensitive and engaged, how about the K-pop industry itself? What kind of political stance are they making? […]


Why you should watch K-Dramas during the lockdown:
Best Korean Dramas on Netflix

Best Korean Dramas on Netflix

The second lockdown in Germany has just started last week. I assume many of us are planning to binge-watch series and films on Netflix. Perhaps it is a chance to get to know some Korean dramas (K-dramas) if my previous articles have intrigued you to be more interested in Korean pop culture. Ever since Netflix […]


Soft masculinity and Flower Boys in Korean pop culture:
Gender-fluidity? Or beauty obsession?

Soft masculinity and Flower Boys in Korean pop culture: Gender-fluidity? Or beauty obsession?

“Kkonminam” is a Korean term, literally a combination of the word for flower and a beautiful man, commonly used for describing handsome men in the Korean language. This term already explains a lot about the definition of masculinity in Korea, that it is somewhat different from the typical description of masculinity in the west. […]


When young Asian girls are taking over the world:
Netflix documentary ‘Blackpink: Light Up the Sky’ reveals the human side of the K-pop group

Blackpink: Light Up the Sky' reveals the human side of the K-pop group

Netflix has revealed its documentary featuring one of the most successful K-pop girl bands, Blackpink. Blackpink consisted of 4 members, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. Their hit songs such as “DDU-DU DDU-DU” and “Kill This Love” reached more than 1 billion views on YouTube. They became the first K-pop band to played at Coachella and […]


How German media perceives the K-pop phenomenon:
Orientalism and Othering

How German media perceives K-pop phenomenon: Orientalism and Othering

When Edward Said first came up with his concept of Orientalism in his 1978 book, what he was referring to was mainly the perspective from the West romanticizing the Middle East culture. He was critically reflecting on the interpretation of the Orient in western society, pointing out that the concept of the Orient was constructed by the westerners. Regardless of how positive or negative the Westerners have described the culture and people from the Middle East, the idea of Orient was not depicting the reality of the Middle East and was rather exoticizing it as somewhat strange and different. Orientalism is, therefore, dangerous and problematic because it is taking the perspective of colonizers while ignoring the realities and the details of the non-Western culture. Even if Said’s concept was more focused on the exoticization of Arab culture, it is applicable when it comes to the Western media’s interpretation of the East Asian culture. […]


Korean beauty standards and the colorism issue

“Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group1” is the definition of colorism. Why am I talking about this? It is because colorism is a crucial topic to be discussed in Korean pop culture as well as in many East Asian societies. In […]


Gender Roles and Sexism in the K-pop Industries:
Grieving the Death of Sulli

Gender roles and sexism in the k-pop industries

It’s been almost a year, a renowned K-pop star Sulli, a former member of a K-pop girl group, f(x), committed suicide. It was a tragic and shocking incident for me too, as I have grown up with f(x)’s songs and felt related to her as a same-aged girl from the same hometown. Especially, I loved […]


The politics of K-pop fandom:
How do K-pop fans become activists


I will have to admit that I was a huge consumer of K-pop as a teenager, and I used to be a supporter of several K-pop artists, like TVXQ and 2 PM. The way K-pop fans interact with their idols – in Korea, we use this term to describe ‘artists’ or ‘bands’ – is somewhat […]