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V&A Museum to highlight Korean wave

Victoria and Albert Museum’s Korean gallery (Yonhap)
Victoria and Albert Museum’s Korean gallery (Yonhap)

Responding to the worldwide popularity of Korean pop culture, Britain’s Victoria and Albert Museum will hold an exhibition titled “Hallyu! The Korean Wave” as part of its program for 2022-23, the museum announced Monday.

According to V&A Museum, the exhibition seeks to showcase the global phenomenon from the rise of hallyu in the late 1990s to its popularity across the globe. “Hallyu, The Korean Wave” will spotlight hallyu’s making, dynamism, vitality and cultural impact on the creative industries of cinema, drama, music, fandom, beauty and fashion.

In recent years, from Psy to K-pop super group BTS and Oscar-winning “Parasite,” the Korean music and cinema have been enjoying a heyday in the UK.

V&A Museum, which houses a permanent collection of over 2.3 million artworks, started as a Museum of Manufactures in 1852, following the success of the Great Fair in London the previous year.

The museum acquired its first Korean artifact in 1888 and its Korean collection expanded to include embroidery, lacquerware, silverware, fashion and digital arts. In 1992, the museum officially opened the first Korean gallery in London.

The Korean Cultural Centre UK, operating under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, signed a partnership with V&A in 2020 to expand the Korean gallery at the museum. The Culture Ministry has set aside a budget of 2 billion won ($1.7 million) to be spent over the next five years to that end. “Hallyu! The Korean Wave” is a result of that partnership.

The 10-month exhibition at V&A will kick off on Sept. 24, 2022.

By Lee Si-jin (