From headlining Coachella to breaking records at award shows, K- pop has undeniably taken the world by storm. With the global success of groups like BLACKPINK and BTS, Korean music has become a cultural phenomenon that has transcended borders and captivated millions of fans.
BLACKPINK: Pioneers of K-pop’s Global Domination
BLACKPINK made history as the first K-pop group to headline Coachella, captivating a live audience of 125,000 and garnering 250 million online viewers. Their iconic songs and dynamic stage presence have made them one of the most popular and influential acts in the K-pop industry, opening doors for other artists to showcase their talent on the world stage. With a staggering 78.1% of Coachella-related posts mentioning BLACKPINK, it’s clear that they have captured the attention of festival-goers and those who were unable to attend.
BTS: Inspiring Language Learning and Cultural Exploration
BTS, a South Korean boy band with worldwide popularity, has introduced fans to the Korean language and culture through their music, videos, and various media appearances. Their multilingual releases and music videos featuring Korean and English captions have inspired fans worldwide to learn Korean and explore Korean culture. The Korean Language Institute at Seoul National University reported a 13% increase in international students in 2018, partly due to the popularity of Korean pop culture, including BTS.
Hallyu! The Korean Wave: An Exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum
An upcoming exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, “Hallyu! The Korean Wave,” explores South Korea’s growing cultural influence around the world. Featuring 200 objects, digital displays, and pop culture ephemera, the exhibition examines South Korea’s evolution from a war-torn country to a major international cultural influencer. The exhibition also highlights the global popularity of K-pop music, the success of Korean films and TV series, and the impact of Korean beauty and fashion on the world stage.
Korean Culture Goes Mainstream in the UK and Beyond
Korean culture has become mainstream in the UK and around the world, with Korean film and TV gaining a significant presence on streaming platforms and at major film awards ceremonies. K-pop fills the biggest music venues in the UK, while Korean beauty therapies are advertised on London Underground platforms. The V&A Museum’s major exhibition on Korean culture, running until June 2023, further solidifies the global impact of the Korean wave. With the South Korean government pledging 4.8 trillion won (£3 billion) in support for K-culture content over the next five years, the Korean wave shows no signs of slowing down.