Friday, May 19, 2006

The Magic Feet from Korea


비 / Bi / Rain

RAIN IS BIG--BIG!--IN JAPAN. The South Korean king of pop also fills seats in Beijing, Pusan and Bangkok. In Hong Kong his concerts sell out in 10 minutes, and across much of Asia, fans snap up pirated videos of his soap operas. Thanks to his angelic face, killer bod and Justin Timber-like dance moves, Rain, 23, has ridden the crest of hallyu, or the Korean wave, the Asia-wide obsession for that country's pop culture. But the ambition that lifted Rain (real name: Jung Ji Hoon) out of a one-room house in Seoul won't be sated by simply conquering the biggest continent on earth. Rain is looking east to the U.S., studying English day and night. He sold out two shows at Madison Square Garden's smaller venue in February, and that could be just a few drops of the deluge that some think will follow the release of his English-language debut album this fall. Yet even if Rain, whose style virtually clones American pop, fails to make it in the U.S., the trend he represents is here to stay. Rain is the face--and well-muscled torso--of pop globalism. Before he visited the U.S., Rain already had a fan base, thanks to Internet music sites, satellite V and DVDs of his soap operas. Those are the same media that make it easier than ever for growing numbers of Americans to get their fix of Japanese anime, Bollywood filsm and Korean music--and vice versa. Pop culture no longer moves simply in a single direction, from the West to the rest of the world. Instead, it's a global swirl, no more constrained by borders than the weather. Rain, after all, falls on everyone. --By Bryan Walsh

source: TIME magazine (Special Issue: 100- The lives and ideas of the world's most influential people) | p. 92

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This is one of the articles I've read in TIME Magazine in their special issue which features 100 of the most influential people. And there's about one leader from Bhutan, one Iran president, one Iraqi, one Indian, one person from United Arab Emirates, two Pakistanis, one Japanese, four Chinese and finally, two Koreans and one of those two is Rain / Bi. Asia is really making a change isn't it? If I were to be given $20,000 to change my citizenship into something not Asian, I wouldn't do it. ^ ^

Vina @ 11:08 AM | Category: | PermaLink |
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