See the Power of Squid, BTS and G-Dragon play at the new V&A exhibition – WWD

South Korean pop culture has taken the world by storm in recent years. Members of girl group Blackpink and boy band BTS have landed major luxury endorsement deals, while movies like “Parasite” and TV series like “Kingdom” and “Squid Game” have garnered as much attention as productions of Hollywood success.

A new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which runs from September 24 to June 25, 2023, promises a comprehensive inspection of aspects of K-mania, including K-pop costumes, accessories and K-drama posters along with photography, sculpture, and fashion. , video, and pop culture ephemera, from its earliest origins in the late 1990s to its place on the world stage today.

A photo taken during the filming of Squid Game

Netflix/ Courtesy of V&A

Titled “Hallyu! The Korean Wave”, the show will present around 200 objects in four sections. The term Hallyu, which means Korean wave in English, was first used in the early 1990s after South Korea established diplomatic relations with China in 1992.

Highlights for movie fans include an immersive recreation of Parasite’s bathroom set and a variety of costumes and accessories seen in K-drama movies and music, including the hit Netflix series “Squid Game.”

Fashion enthusiasts will be able to enjoy around 20 fashion looks from brands such as Kye, D-Antidote, Blindness, Ji Won Choi, Darcycom, Tchai Kim, Miss Sohee, and Minju Kim, and a coat from Kim Seo Ryong as seen in Jin from BTS. in your Summer Package 2019.

Miss Sohee's peony dress

Miss Sohee’s peony dress

Courtesy of the V&A

Outfits worn by different generations of K-pop idols will also be a big draw for visitors, such as the pink suit jacket worn by PSY in her 2012 viral hit “Gangnam Style”; Aespa’s original iridescent outfits from the “Next Level” music video and British punk fashion-inspired ensembles worn by four members of Ateez in the “Firework” music video.

There will also be a three-meter-tall sculpture of Gwon Osang’s G-Dragon, and new looks created by K-pop style and visual director Geeeun, who has styled artists like Blackpink and Bigbang, and style director Balko, who has worked with BTS and NCT.

The exhibition, supported by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and luxury carmaker Genesis, will also feature artwork by artists such as Nam June Paik, Ham Kyungah and Gwon Osang, as well as early examples of advertising. and branding, including an original Seoul Olympics poster and the first Korean brand cosmetic from the 1910s.

Aespa Next Level music video

Aespa Next Level music video

Courtesy of the V&A

Rosalie Kim, curator of the exhibition, said Hallyu is worth celebrating because it has helped South Korea transform its image from “one devastated by the Korean War to that of a leading cultural powerhouse in the age of social media and the digital culture.

Since collecting Korean art and design in 1888, the V&A now owns one of the largest collections of contemporary Korean crafts and design outside of South Korea. He opened London’s first permanent gallery dedicated to Korean arts in 1992.


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