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Acceptance of Hong Kong Stars and the Cultural Implications of their Fandom in South Korea

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2023, (70), pp.325-346
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2023..70.014
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : October 10, 2023
  • Accepted : November 20, 2023
  • Published : November 30, 2023

KIM JUNG EUN 1

1한국외국어대학교 대만연구센터

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The influence and impact of Hong Kong stars on the landscape of Korean popular culture has been significant. This paper aims to scrutinize the acceptance of Hong Kong stars within Korea and to delve into the cultural implications stemming from the fervent fandom surrounding these personalities. Specifically, attention is directed towards Bruce Lee, Joo Yun-bal, and Jang Kook-young, three prominent Hong Kong stars who cemented their status as cultural icons in Korea during the period from the 1970s to the 1990s. Bruce Lee gained acceptance in Korea embodying a hybrid identity, recognized both as an "actor" within Hong Kong cinema and as a "martial artist (or sportsman)" dedicated to practicing the martial art form of "Jeet Kune Do." His fan base primarily comprised male admirers. Zhu Yunbal fashioned a dual persona, characterized as both a rebellious figure and a paragon of loyalty and purity. As a gender-neutral symbol of his era, his fan base appealed to audiences encompassing both male and female admirers. Jang Kuk-young, recognized as the original flower boy star, retained a predominantly female-dominated fan following even after his demise. The male fans of Bruce Lee and Joo Yun-bal notably suggested the roles and potentials of male followers within a predominantly female-driven domain of pop culture fandom. Simultaneously, Joo Yun-bal and Jang Kook-young introduced a range of diversity to South Korea's reception of male celebrities by portraying images distinct from prevailing masculine stereotype. Their reception in Korea, along with their respective followings, significantly impacted the transnational activities of Hallyu (Korean Wave) stars and the evolution of Korean wave fandom culture.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.