So this week’s blog is to detail my own auto-ethnographic experience with this subject of Digital Asia and the field I’m looking in. My group have decided to delve into the culture of K-Pop
So being a Filipino Australian who has friends of many different cultures, I already felt like I have been exposed to a variety of traditions and texts as I’ve either been at a friends home and seen on the television a movie made in their respective culture, or other ways such as seeing what they share on social media and all that. I however did not really know much about Korean Pop other than Gangnam Style.
Before we looked into any sort of information regarding Korean Pop, we decided to just put a camera on us, and watch videos, and react. As little background information as possible. This would become our live reaction DA. We simply searched up the top 2 K-Pop bands and we found BTS and EXO who we all have heard of before but never looked into them. They both happened to be rival artists, and this is what led us to looking into the fandom in K-Pop as well. We watched 2 videos by BTS and EXO and reacted to them which were these:
My auto-ethnographic experience with this video was that I instantly began to compare them to familiar artists in Western Media such as One Direction, Backstreet Boys, Nsync and more. I also began to analyse the musical features as I myself am a musician. I noticed typical pop melodies that are present in Western songs, as well as the dance choreography which is familiar yet unique. Interpreting these videos were actually very easy for me, except the foreign language. Musically, I heard everything I normally would hear in Western songs, I saw choreographed dance, and filming styles that I’m very much aware of. Exo’s music video was styled as a single shot one take video, same as the film Birdman. BTS’ music included rapping which reminded me of modern rappers that I listen to, although mixed in with pop music.
On top of these two videos, we also looked into videos of fans interacting with the bands and we learned that fans of K-Pop are crazy, and this is where I had my epiphany, looking into the fans. They are similar to the nature of soccer fans who fight each other and argue in all forms of social media about who is better. Seeing all these fan interactions and footage really baffled me as I couldn’t believe the extent of what these fans would do for their artists. One fan bought a singer an Xbox and gave it to him at a meet and greet. Others gave them jewellry, and a lot of them cried meeting their favourite artists.