Every Thursday we share the latest trends in arts and culture along with the top events that are on this weekend.
As always, our culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung is here in the studio with us, Bo-kyoung what do you have for us today?
Hello Daniel, a lot has changed in the two years of the pandemic, and I would say one of those changes is that non-contact situations have become more common in our lives. We do our meetings through ZOOM or Skype, and lot of workers are working from home. Arts and culture too have moved online, and some have developed that format one step further using a metaverse platform as a place for exhibitions and concerts. Let me show you how advanced technologies are broadening the boundaries of the arts and culture sector.
It's a virtual exhibition.
But my avatar dressed in whatever clothes I want can walk around every corner of the exhibition, and it feels like I am actually there.
The metaverse an online virtual universe where people can meet, is no longer a distant concept of the future.
It is already becoming part of people's lives, and the arts and culture sector is using the technology to broaden the boundaries of people's cultural experiences.
One of them is Asia’s largest urban art fair “Urban Break 2021”, which took place this August at COEX.
It used 'ifland' SK Telecom's metaverse platform as a virtual spot to present artists' works.
"Paintings on a white wall in a quiet place are what we usually think of for an exhibition. But the 'Urban Break' art fair aims to be noisy and bustling, and in the metaverse it can be like that."
"In the real world, an exhibition is usually a quiet place. But in the metaverse,. I can enjoy the exhibition in my own unique way I can even dance while enjoying the paintings."
Governmental organizations too are following the trend.
The Korean Culture and Information Service has come up with a "Korea World" exhibition in the metaverse.
"COVID-19 has made non-contact very common, and amid such a situation where we cannot be in physical contact with each other, we have tried using the new metaverse platform to let more global youngsters get to know about South Korea through Hallyu content on it."
Every year, thousands of foreigners participate in a global contest to come up with content that shows their affection toward South Korea, and around one-hundred-40 of those are displayed at "Korea World."
K-pop concerts aren't missing out either.
Recently, K-pop superstars like aespa, key from SHINEE and Boa performed to the backdrop of virtually-recreated Korean tourists spots through Zepeto.
Aespa performed at a virtually-created central Seoul, while other artists staged their shows at charming cities such as Yangyang and Gangneung.
With more attention on K-culture than ever, cultural events are evolving so people can enjoy them wherever they are in the world.
I also heard that art and digital technology are also being combined in a hologram concert?
That's right. Though it isn't that large, well-known soprano Sumi Jo's hologram mini concert is taking place at Seoul Arts Center. Through the hologram she sings her best-known repertoires three songs for 17 minutes. That definitely shows one way that advanced tech can take the arts to new places.
Certainly is intriguing how digital technology is letting more people enjoy arts and culture in a variety of ways.
Moving on, are there any special K-content going on overseas?
Sure, visitors to New York will be able to hear the tune of the well-known Korean folk song "Arirang".
It's being shown as a 30-second promotional video on the world-famous billboard in New York's Times Square.
As an iconic Korean folk song, it has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, and has been developed into more than 60 different versions.
The video shows people of different nationalities and jobs showing their own versions of Arirang and the last message says "the rhythm inside you, we call that arirang."
This is a part of the "Visit Korean Heritage" campaign, by the Cultural Heritage Foundation and run by the Cultural Heritage Administration.
Amazing how those who visit New York can enjoy the tunes of our oldest favorite folk song.
How long will "Arirang" be lighting up Times Square for?
The video will be on display until December 26th, and the developers say they hope such promotional videos could encourage those interested in Korean cultural content to broaden their interest to Korea's own unique cultural assets and traditions.
We are in December.
And this is usually high time for some year-end award shows?
That's right, and one of the most noteworthy ones is the K-pop industry's biggest annual year-end music awards show the Mnet Asian Music Awards.
Under the theme 'Make Some Noise', the show will be held in Paju on Saturday, December 11th.
It is the first time in two years that the annual event is being held with an audience, and it will also be livestreamed starting 6PM through its official YouTube channel "Mnet K-POP".
The show is to feature well-know superstars from Korea and overseas, including British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and K-pop boy band Wanna One.
K-pop fans will be looking forward to seeing Wanna One as the boy band are reuniting for a special performance.
They had disbanded in 2018 after performing for a year and a half since the survival audition program “Produce 101".
Global idol group NCT will also perform for the first time their title song of their new album 'Universe, Let's Play Ball', and the eight dance crews who have been enjoying huge popularity recently through the program 'Street Women Fighter' will also join for a special show with the first female host ever Lee Hyo-ri .
Unfortunately, global superstars BTS won't be able to join the show.
The members were to rumored to perform after their appearance on the Jingle Ball Tour in the U.S. on December 3rd, but after recently returning to Korea, BTS will still be in quarantine at the time MAMA takes place.
BTS will be missed.
But the lineup is filled with amazing artists, K-pop lovers will be looking forward to the show.
All right, thank you Bo-kyoung for sharing this week's cultural information with us.
We'll look foward to more next week.