Having entered its fourth generation, non-traditional and subversive stars are emerging in K-pop that speak to the industry’s rising global prominence. But how are these new idols paving the way for the future and reflecting the shifting attitudes of Korean culture and K-pop fans everywhere?
Lorraine (Lorr) Ye is the Head Curator at thehug.xyz helping their community of 11,000+ global digital artists navigate how to become a multi-modal creator and K-Culture Writer at AllKPop.com, the largest English-language K-Pop news site in the world. There, she focuses on Marketing, Communications, and PR and holds interviews with renown artists.
Rosalie Kim is the curator of Korean art at the Victoria & Albert Museum and was the exhibition lead curator for Hallyu! The Korean Wave in 2022.
Joey Levenson is a writer and editor with a wealth of experience across art and culture. This includes working on the editorial team for HERO Magazine and It's Nice That as well as freelance political and economic journalism for Tribune and broader culture journalism for The Face and Dazed. They have conducted countless interviews and have shared their expertise on aesthetic trends with the likes of Facebook, Adobe, and Squarespace.
Weverse is the South Korean app that prioritises the relationship between K-pop fans and artists above all else – synthesising social media, content creation, live concerts, and merchandise shopping in one platform. But how has it managed to find success both in Korea and overseas?
Chinese milk tea chain HeyTea has partnered with Korean beauty label 3CE to provide customers the chance to give a public performance of a K-pop routine. With Korean brands experiencing a decline in popularity, it hints at how collaborations may help reignite the 'Hallyu wave' in China.
Members of the K-POP group BTS are exploring relationships with luxury fashion houses, with Dior signing Jimin and Suga signing with Valentino. The collaborations come as the brands further expand their relationships with South Korea, where luxury spending with Dior is among the highest worldwide.
Stans are passionate, and while they generally post about the object of their obsession, strong social media presence and large numbers mean they can mobilize to dominate social feeds. Showing the power of online community, they’re promoting BLM and quashing racism.