The exhibition „Hallyu! The Korean Wave“ runs from 24 September 2022 – 25 June 2023 in London and is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism – Republic of Korea and Genesis.
Opening in September 2022, the V&A’s landmark exhibition „Hallyu! The Korean Wave“ will be the first exhibition of its kind to celebrate the colourful and dynamic popular culture of South Korea, following its early origins to its place on the global stage today. From K-Pop costumes to K-drama props and posters, alongside photography, sculpture, fashion, video and pop culture ephemera, the exhibition will invite visitors to delve into the phenomenon known as ‘hallyu’ – meaning ‘Korean Wave’. Hallyu rose to prominence in the late 1990s, rippling across Asia before reaching all corners of the world and challenging the currents of global pop culture today.
„Hallyu! The Korean Wave“ will explore the makings of the Korean Wave through cinema, drama, music and fandoms, and underline its cultural impact on the beauty and fashion industries. The exhibition will feature around 200 objects across four thematic sections – including some loans never seen in the UK before – alongside pop culture ephemera and digital displays. Highlights will include an immersive re-creation of Parasite’s bathroom set, and an array of iconic costumes and props seen in K-drama, film and music – including from hit Netflix series Squid Game, and outfits worn by different generations of K-pop idols, from PSY, to aespa and ATEEZ.
It will also present monumental artworks, including by Nam June Paik, Ham Kyungah and Gwon Osang; around 20 high fashion looks by Tchai Kim, Miss Sohee and Minju Kim among others; as well as early examples of advertising and branding, including an original poster from the Seoul Olympics, and the first Korean branded cosmetic from the 1910s. In the exhibition, hallyu will also be used as a gateway to explore traditional and contemporary Korean culture by connecting historic objects with popular culture and socio-political events.
Rosalie Kim, curator of „Hallyu! The Korean Wave“, said: “South Korea has captivated the world over with hallyu, its vibrant and creative popular culture, which has transformed the country’s image from one devastated by the Korean War to that of a leading cultural powerhouse in the era of social media and digital culture today. This phenomenon has been amplified by tech-savvy and socially conscious global fanbases, further raising the profile and relevance of hallyu around the world, and we’re delighted to be bringing its energy and dynamism to the V&A this autumn in the first exhibition of its kind.”
About the Exhibition:
The exhibition will open with a familiar example of hallyu: PSY’s viral 2012 hit single ‘Gangnam Style’, with his iconic pink suit jacket on display. The song and its quirky dance moves were an overnight sensation, and it became the first music video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. The hugely successful video was an early reflection of hallyu’s international appeal that went on to launch a global phenomenon, inspiring parodies and cover versions across the world, several examples of which, filmed across multiple continents, will also feature in this introduction.
- The exhibition „Hallyu! The Korean Wave“ runs from 24 September 2022 – 25 June 2023.
- Adult tickets £20, student and under-26 tickets £13. Tickets are on sale now atvam.ac.uk/kwave
- The exhibition has been curated for the V&A by Lead Curator Rosalie Kim and ProjectCurator Yoojin Choi.
- The exhibition will be accompanied by a new V&A publication edited by Rosalie Kim.