Movemus ergo sumus: Riding the Korean Wave, Gang-Nam Style, from Seoul to MIT

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International Journal of Diaspora&Cultural Criticism


This paper outlines the power of Korean Hallyu by analyzing and comparing PSY's worldwide hit music video “Gang Nam Style” and its remake version by Korean Students Association of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Drawing on hermeneutical theory, a touchstone for a classic is its ability to allow for a “fusion of horizons.” The resulting new meanings and possible interpretations of the classic lead to the birth of new works that can be experienced by audiences and readers regardless of the location and the time. A close reading of both Gang Nam Style music videos, including camera technique, mise-en-scène, social background, and editing, shows us that the critique of both the Gang Nam lifestyle in Korea and competitive academic atmosphere in MIT is created and recreated in a somewhat comic manner.