An Exhibition On South Korean Pop Culture Will Arrive In London Next Year

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Korean Wave

The Korean Wave hits London in an upcoming exhibition.

The V&A Museum is on a tear right now, having traced the history of the kimono and finally delivered a long-awaited Alice in Wonderland exhibition. And next year, they’ll bring a whole other massive cultural phenomenon to town, with the arrival of Hallyu! The Korean Wave, the first UK exhibition dedicated to the music, art, cinema, fashion, and beauty of modern South Korea. Which no doubt means K-pop fans will be queueing out the door to get inside…

The Korean Wave denotes a cultural shift that has seen South Korean culture steadily spread across the globe since the 1980s, to the point where, in the past eighteen months, Parasite has swept the Oscars and BTS have dominated the airwaves. They’re just two examples of the global impact of Korean culture, and that’s before we even mention Psy’s world-conquering, can’t-run-can’t-hide-from-it hit Gangnam Style, which features heavily on the V&A’s promotional material.

Hallyu! The Korean Wave will trace the origins of this global impact, from the early pioneers right up to the Korean-language Netflix shows and Korean beauty products that are readily available to us here in 2021. You can expect an array of objects and installations tied to this wave, spanning the worlds of film and TV, music, art, beauty, and fandom. It’d be a fascinating exhibition at the best of times, but with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for the Republic of Korea supporting the show, it also functions as a canny bit of PR for the nation.

It’s one of several newly-announced shows for the V&A Museum, which is also plotting exhibitions on famed goldsmith Fabergé (he of the eggs), Beatrix Potter’s drawings, the history of menswear, and contemporary African fashion. A diverse yet tantalising bunch, isn’t it? You’ll need to wait a little while until Hallyu! The Korean Wave hits London, though, as the opening date is currently set for September 24, 2022. At least that’s plenty of time to get clued up on K-pop fandom, though – and if travel restrictions allow it, maybe squeeze in a visit to this wonderful country!

You can find out more about the exhibition here.

Also published on Medium.