Behind K-pop fans' current obsession with photocards
16 Aug 2023
Behind K-pop fans' current obsession with photocards

K-Pop album sales continue to rise, and one of the main draws is their surprise perks – posters, Polaroids, stickers, and the photocards collected by fans all over the world. Between the DIY culture surrounding them and the opportunity for community building, what makes photocards so attractive?

Jieun Kiaer

Professor Jieun Kiaer is a professor of Korean language and linguistics at the University of Oxford, publishing widely on a variety of subjects surrounding East Asia and, more specifically, Korea. Currently, the focus of her research is on the linguistics of Hallyu (the Korean wave), looking at it from many perspectives, including the impact of social media and digital landscapes in its expansion and continued growth. She was the author of the article K-Pop Fandom for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s 2022 exhibition Hallyu! The Korean Wave and the moderator of the exhibition’s Fandoms: In Conversation talk.

Brad Chong

Brad Chong is a 21-year-old K-pop photocard collector, trader, and seller based in the United States. He has been part of the photocard collecting community since 2017 and maintains a prolific YouTube channel [8raddy] dedicated exclusively to the subject of collecting items from multiple groups, which has amassed over 85.7,000 subscribers and over 11 million views.

Biju Belinky

Biju Belinky is a writer, translator, and visual artist based in São Paulo, Brazil. Her work as a journalist has focused on both mainstream and subcultural trends, especially looking at the intersections between fandom, DIY culture, self-expression, and identity. She was also responsible for a monthly column exploring many unique aspects of K-Pop fandom for Noisey entitled Into the K-Pop World, and her pieces and interviews about music, fashion, and art have been featured in prominent media outlets such as Dazed, VICE, Broadly, Huck Magazine, The Face, BBC, Time Out, and more.