The Korean Wave: The technology that propelled a global cultural phenomenon

Crowd at music concert

Event schedule details

Saturday 17 June


Event location details

G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Imperial College London

From K-Pop to Squid Games, V&A Curator Rosalie Kim looks at how pioneering tech and digital culture turned South Korea into a leading artistic and cultural powerhouse.

South Korea’s musicians are among the biggest on the planet. Its film industry has received multiple Oscars in recent years and its TV shows generate billions of streams globally. However the country only reached democracy with a sound economy in the late 1980s, after a succession of traumatic events in the 20th century.

The story of what happened is one underpinned by technology and innovation, where early investment in high speed internet to address an economic crisis laid the foundation for a connected and digital society -a ‘rags to smartphones’ revolution. Across early cyber cafes and pre-Facebook social media platforms, people shared new ideas and art freely leading to revolutions across the creative sectors. Rosalie Kim is the Exhibition Lead Curator of “Hallyu! The Korean Wave” running till 25 June 2023 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, an exhibition showcasing the origins of the colourful and dynamic popular culture from South Korea. At the Great Exhibition Road Festival she will explore consumer technology’s contribution to the rapid rise of the Korean Wave and its global impact on cinema, drama, music, fandom, beauty and fashion.

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Visitor information

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Crowd at music concert