With BTS sweeping the top three American pop music awards and NewJeans making it onto the U.S. Billboard chart just six months after debut, there’s no doubt that this is the heyday of K-Pop. K-Pop is no longer just music enjoyed in Korea and is now an icon representing Korea.
K-Pop Generation is a TVing original documentary series that sheds light on various aspects of K-Pop. In the first episode, they focused on fan culture, and in the second episode, they met with various artists, producers, and creators who are a big part of K-Pop. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa defined K-Pop in the series as “a beautiful hybrid created by many people together.”
Producer Kim Sun Young commented that there are many prejudices regarding K-Pop.
When you say K-Pop, there are prejudices saying that it was made in a factory and that everything is the same. However, there are many things related to it because it is a job that people do, not a factory. Many people are working hard for one result. I remember saying in an interview that people who make K-pop deserve more respect.
Executive producer Lim Hong Jae did not view K-pop simply as music. He analyzed K-Pop as a culture encompassing music, fashion, and food. He stated, “There was someone that described K-Pop as a huge house with many doors. There are various paths to approaching and accepting music, drama, food, fashion, music videos, performances, and other huge cultural houses.”
Patchworks CEO and general planning producer Jung Hyung Jin predicted that K-Pop is emerging as mainstream music in the current generation. The organizational division of generations is centered on fans and cultural experiences vary from generation to generation.
K-Pop, which gas gained cultural influence from various angles, is expanding to the world. This program also delved into overseas responses. Music critic Cha Woo Jin stated, “I think K-Pop came out of Korea, but what I felt during the process of producing the documentary is that it’s not important whether it comes from Korea or anywhere. It would be nice to stray away from ‘K=Korean’ because isn’t it an era of diversity?”
He added, “K-Pop is composed of multinational members with many overseas fans. Even at the production stage, it is not a matter of a few music producers mixing various genres, but a multinational team of producers and creators in many countries collaborating in real-time. It was impressive to see that K-Pop is becoming a central point where artists and creators come together.”
How K-Pop culture is consumed and produced in global pop culture is becoming a reference in various countries.
We plan to show how K-Pop is not just a cultural result of our country but also how it influences things that the mainstream culture has overlooked. It is to see a step in global culture. The show is titled ‘K-Pop Generation’ because we saw it as a generational phenomenon.
— Music critic Cha Woo Jin
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