Thursday, December 09, 2010

Book on Korean Wave adopted as textbook for universities abroad

Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption [Hong Kong University Press]

A new book on the 'Hallyu,' or Korean Wave, has been adopted as a textbook for universities abroad.

The English book titled “Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols” was selected as one of the main textbooks for the media classes at Goldsmiths, University of London in England and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Written by Sun Jung, a research fellow in the School of Communication and Arts at Victoria University, the book explores into several cultural phenomenons revolving around South Korean stars including the Singaporean fandom of singer and actor Rain, the middle-aged Japanese female fandom of actor Bae Young-joon, the Western online cult fandom of thriller pic "Oldboy," as well as the emerging versatile masculinity represented by K-pop idol boy bands.

"This is a highly original, clearly written, and well-argued study that examines how Korean masculinity is being reconstructed through its regional and global circulation as part of the Korean Wave, producing new forms that negotiate local Korean creative energies and regional and international consumer forces,” Professor Chris Berry of film and television studies at Goldsmiths was quoted as saying in a press release by Hong Kong University (HKU) Press that published the book on December 1.

The book, sporting singer and actor Rain on the front cover, is available at various online bookstores.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is arguably one of the most successful Korean stars in the Asia region who has achieved a phenomenal level of success in both singing and acting, paving the way for his acting debut in Hollywood with a supporting role in the Wachowski Brothers' pic "Speed Racer," followed by a lead role in martial arts film "Ninja Assassin."

Bae, 37, is one of the first Korean actors to make a major breakthrough into Japan and the Asia region. He shot to stardom after starring in 2002 hit TV series "Winter Sonata" alongside actress Choi Ji-woo and has since been promoting himself and Korean culture in Asia.

"Oldboy," helmed by critically acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, has received high praises from critics since its release in 2003 and won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Korean actor Choi Min-sik, "Oldboy" is about a man who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing why. He plots revenge upon his release and finds himself trapped in conspiracy, violence and falling in love with an attractive young chef.

Reporter: Heidi Kim heidikim@
Editor: Jessica Kim jesskim@
[ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved]

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