Reflexive Essay: K-pop industries
July 28, 2017
Before I came to Korea and took the class, the word K-pop for me means nothing more than just Korean music, but since day one of class I realized K-pop was such a complicated topic to teach because the emergence and the development of K-pop are profoundly influenced by the Korean culture, Korean government. Korea managed went from a country that broken into pieces to one of the world's economic power in forty years, K-pop has played a major role in helping Korea to change from a receiver to a donor. Furthermore, K-pop industries make a tremendous amount of money that benefits Korean economic as the impact of Hallyu (Korean wave) spread wider into the rest of the world.
K-pop industries are essentially entertainment companies that made money out of Korean idols. K-pop is representing Korea to the outside world. Thus, Koreans saw K-pop idols as the pride of the nation and have unrealistic standards that create constant pressures toward these K-pop idols that push them to improve, to have something new to the fans or else it would be replaced with the new idols. The K-pop industries using K-pop idols as a tool, as a bridge that links the producers and consumers, these companies are constantly releasing new boy or girl groups to refresh the audience, to keep the audience paying attention to K-pop so the company could make the profit out of them. Korean idol itself doesn't make lots of money, although they dressed up fancy, they make their money mostly from advertisement rather than from the actual from singing and dancing. The K-pop industries are the one who makes an enormous amount of profit generated by these idols. The older generations of Korean idols have to keep working to maintain their fans and their status, but eventually will be replaced by younger idols with more refreshing looks. Thus, it's not hard to imagine that how much pressure has been added to these idols.
What I have learned in the K-pop class have completely changed my thought toward Korean idols, I use to think that Korean idols make lots of money based on their fancy clothes and expensive accessories. But now I view K-pop idols as more like tools that controlled by the K-pop entertainment companies to make money for them, they could also easily be replaced, and that's the reality of K-pop that I learned from Dr. Saeji.
-Global navigator (Kenny Mai)