Hallyu! The Korean Wave ★★★★★ Victoria & Albert Museum | Sep 24, 2022 - June 25, 2023


Out of the carnage of war and the challenge of dictatorship, Korea has emerged as a major influencer in the world of technology and culture. This important exhibition traces the story of Korea's extraordinary leap into modernity and global leadership in these areas. It is a beautifully curated look at the phenomenon that is Korean music, fashion, film and television. From PSY's Gangnam Style, through the wildly popular K-Pop groups, to films like Parasite and Minari, and the incredibly successful television program, Squid Game, Korean cultural productions have become ubiquitous. This exhibition seeks to cover a lot of ground, including Korea's trend-setting impact on fashion and grooming, and it does a splendid job. There are diverting interactive experiences, plus some thoughtful insight into how Korea's new-found influence on world culture is impacting a society steeped in traditional values. The ppali-ppali ('quick-quick') ethos of the new Korea has inevitably caused disruption in a society that prides itself on its respect and reverence for its past. For fans of all things Korean this will be a delightful experience, and for those less familiar with this fount of national creativity, this exhibition will provide the perfect introduction.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: PSY performs Gangnam Style, on TODAY, 2012, New York, USA. Courtesy of Jason Decrow, Invision, AP, Shutterstock

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