Research Project

Engaging in complex interdisciplinary research to map, measure and
forecast the global impacts of Hallyu, the Korean Wave

Research team

Natalia Grincheva Natalia Grincheva

Lead Project Investigator
Hallyu Data Visualisation

Dr Natalia Grincheva is a Programme Leader in Arts Management at University of the Arts Singapore and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne. She is an internationally recognized expert in innovative forms and global trends in contemporary museology, digital diplomacy, and international cultural relations. Her most recent publications are two monographs: Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age (Routledge: 2020) and Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy (Routledge: 2019). Currently she is working on a new co-authored monograph, Geopolitics of Digital Heritage, forthcoming in 2023 with Cambridge University Press. Dr Grincheva's professional engagements include her dedicated work for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity at UNESCO (2011), International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (2011–2015) as well as service for the international Cultural Research Network (CRN) (2018–2020).

Dal Yong Jin Dal Yong Jin

Senior Project Investigator
Digital Hallyu Mapping

Dal Yong Jin is a Distinguished Simon Fraser University Professor. He completed his Ph.D. in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois in 2005. Jin's major research and teaching interests are digital platforms and digital games, globalization and media, transnational cultural studies, and the political economy of media and culture. Jin has published numerous books, journal articles, and book chapters. His books include Korea's Online Gaming Empire (2010), Digital Platforms, Imperialism and Political Culture (2015), New Korean Wave: transnational cultural power in the age of social media (2016), Smartland Korea: mobile communication, culture and society (2017), and Artificial Intelligence in Cultural Production: Critical Perspectives on Digital Platforms (2021). Jin has also published articles in scholarly journals, such as New Media and Society, The Information Society, Media, Culture and Society, and Information Communication and Society. In May 2022, Jin was inducted as an International Communication Association (ICA) fellow—the highest recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the field of communication. He is the founding book series editor of Routledge Research in Digital Media and Culture in Asia. He has been directing The Transnational Culture and Digital Technology Lab since the summer of 2021.

HwaJung Kim HwaJung Kim

Project Investigator
Mapping Anti-Hallyu Movements

Dr HwaJung Kim serves as Research Professor, having been selected in track-A by the National Research Foundation of the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea, in mid-2021, at the Institute for International Area Studies, Graduate School of International Studies, Ewha Womans University, where she had joined as Invited Professor (2020–2021) after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Seoul National University awarded by the National Research Foundation (2017–2019). Her research interests focus on culture in world politics, international cultural relations, and diplomacy. She has published academic articles on the topics in The Journal of Cultural Policy (in Korean, 2021), Korea Observer (2020), Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia (2018, 2022), and Korean Journal of International Studies (2017) and also has contributed book chapters, such as Hallyu, Daum[Next Step] (in Korean, 2022), Exploring Cities and Countries of the World (Volume 4, 2023), The Palgrave Handbook of Diplomatic Reform and Innovation (2023), and The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power (2nd edition, 2023).

Youngaah Koh Youngaah Koh

Project Investigator
Mapping Cultural Policy Impacts

Dr Youngaah Koh is an Assistant Professor of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at Miami University. She currently teaches undergraduate courses, Cultural Equity in the Arts; Policy & Advocacy in the Arts; and Introduction to Arts Management. Her research encompasses arts policy and advocacy; undergraduate arts management education; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the arts; and community-based arts. Youngaah earned her doctorate in Arts Administration, Education, and Policy from the Ohio State University and her master's degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University during which she was a Fulbright Fellow. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Prior to her career in higher education, Youngaah worked with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization), where she engaged in the design and implementation of international cultural policy. She coordinated multiple international cooperation projects with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to help safeguard, revitalize their traditional arts and culture. Youngaah began her professional career as an arts journalist for The Korea Herald, a national English-language newspaper in Korea.

PhD Research Associates

Wee Yang Soh Wee Yang Soh

Research Associate
K-Industries Research

Wee Yang Soh is a doctoral candidate in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Chicago, where his research focuses on the nexus of new media, language, and politics. His doctoral dissertation investigates the strategies employed by contemporary Korean digital media companies in crafting Korean cultural content for global audiences. Specifically, he examines the dynamic interplay between the Korean nationalist approach of "cultural translation" and the shifting landscape of an industry increasingly reliant on the contributions of foreign creatives in shaping the narrative of "Korean culture." His dissertation research is supported by The Center of East Asian Studies (CEAS) and the Department of Anthropology at The University of Chicago, The Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies at Seoul National University, and The Korea Foundation.

So Yoon Lee So Yoon Lee

Research Associate
Mapping K-Pop Entertainment Infrastructures

So Yoon Lee is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Chicago with a broad interest in the sociocultural and political implications of the developmental state in Asia. Having received her B.A. in Political Science and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University and her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago, So Yoon’s empirical research covers a wide spectrum, ranging from the rise of populist leaders in Asia to the rise of South Korean popular culture. Her previous work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, and she is currently working on several research projects that qualitatively examine the production and consumption of K-pop in South Korea and the United States.

Yan (Anna) Liu Yan (Anna) Liu

Research Associate
Mapping Digital Audiences

Yan (Anna) Liu is a PhD student at Institute of Communication Research (ICR), College of Media, UIUC. Her research lies at the intersection of audience studies, critical data studies, cultural production, global flow of cultural products, and digital platforms. Specifically, Anna is interested in the social impact of quantification and datafication, focusing on how audience measurements shape audiences’ reactivity behaviors and cultural producers’ sense-making of the market and decision making. She examines the role of audience measurement in the context of global flow of East Asian music, with K-pop as a prominent case. Focusing on the role of digital platforms and Western audience measurement regimes (e.g., Billboard), Anna’s on-going research explores how platform metrics and datafication of fans shape K-pop fans’ data-driven behaviors, which contribute to the K-pop idols’ visibility among global audience bases. Anna adopts mixed methods in her research, including computational and qualitative methods.

Research Assistants

Ellie Wang Ellie Wang

Research Assistant
Mapping Anti-Hallyu Movements

Chenjun Wang is a researcher at the Soft Power Analysis and Resource Centre, Macquarie University. She was a research assistant at the Lowy Institute (2019) and a visiting research fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University (2023). Her research interests include soft power in identity politics, inter-cultural resilience and peacebuilding. She authored chapters in The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power (2nd edition, 2023) and Soft Power and The Future of US Foreign Policy (2023). Her work has appeared in AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication (2024), The Journal of International Communication (2018), and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen on Culture and Foreign Policy (2021).

Jeongwon Shin Jeongwon Shin

Research Assistant
Mapping Hallyu Digital Consumption

Jeongwon Shin is a research assistant at the Center for Hallyu Studies at the Asia Center of Seoul National University. Her research interests include K-pop, P-pop, Korean Wave (Hallyu), globalization, and Asian popular culture. She is particularly interested in the tensions between nationalism and globalization within the transnational fandoms and cultural industries. Having received her B.A. in Sociology and her M.A. in Communication from Seoul National University, her areas of study span from global media and postcolonialism to fan studies and media industries. Her master's thesis focused on the localization and indigenization of K-pop, with a case study on the Filipino boy group SB19. She is working on several research projects concerning the intersections of K-pop and Southeast Asian popular music.

Daeyong Kim Daeyong Kim

Research Assistant
Mapping Cultural Impacts

Daeyong Kim (Antonio) is a Ph.D. student in the Arts Administration Program at Florida State University, United States. His research focuses on the impact of government grants on the financial sustainability of arts and cultural non-profit organizations. Daeyong's academic interests lie in exploring how public funding policies can support and enhance the resilience of cultural institutions, ensuring their long-term viability and contribution to society. Prior to his doctoral studies, Daeyong held significant roles at the Asia Culture Institute (ACI) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in the Republic of Korea, and the Gwangju International Center (GIC). At ACI, he served as a Senior Manager, where he planned and operated cultural festivals, exhibitions, and education programs. His work at GIC involved coordinating international forums and cultural exchanges, fostering global partnerships, and promoting cultural understanding.

Josephine Choi Josephine Choi

Research Assistant
Mapping Political Impacts

Josephine Choi holds a Master of Arts in Arts and Cultural Leadership from the University of the Arts Singapore, where she focused on exploring cultural governance in the context of urban regeneration. Josephine's academic journey also includes a Bachelor of Arts in Jewellery and Objects Design from Birmingham City University and a Foundation Degree in Art and Design from BCUIC in the UK. In her recent role as a Digital Communications Manager at Communicating the Arts - a global arts conference, she oversees the management of online platforms and social media channels and the editing of newsletters for the global network of cultural leaders.

Kuan-Chen Lin Kuan-Chen Lin

Research Assistant
Mapping K-Industries and Urban Data

Kuan-Chen Lin is a current Master’s student of Arts and Cultural Management at the University of Melbourne. Her interests focus on art festivals, exhibitions, and music. She holds a B.B.A. in Economics with a minor in Finance and a minor specialty in Art History in Practice from the National Central University in Taiwan. With previous work experience in the art gallery, she is skilled in arts administration, stakeholder liaison, and website and social media management. She has demonstrated skills in data collection and analysis and relevant software through her later work experience in auditing. Kuan-Chen’s multicultural background is manifested by her living and educational experience in Taiwan, Germany and Australia, and her corresponding language abilities plus Korean.

Joel Pellicci Joel Pellicci

Research Assistant
Mapping K-Industries and Urban Data

Joel Pellicci is a research assistant for the Mapping Global Impacts of Hallyu project at the University of Arts Singapore. Joel is exploring data repositories to identify, aggregate and analyse entertainment companies that deal with K-Pop, and the social and economic impacts on large cities that attract such audiences. Joel holds a MPhil from the University of Melbourne, with his thesis investigating eye movements that are caused when detecting colour within a moving pattern in order to understand whether or not these eye movements rely on the same brain pathways as everyday functional vision. His major research and teaching interests include Social Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Education and Cultural Studies. His interests have seen him travel extensively, having lived in Spain, Japan and China. Joel is also passionate about offering holistic, person-centred, culturally safe support for those experiencing psychosocial challenges.

Jubin (Irene) Lee Jubin (Irene) Lee

Research Assistant
Mapping Cultural Policy

Jubin (Irene) Lee is a Ph.D student in Arts and Cultural Management at HongIk University, Seoul, and a project manager at a governmental institute by ministry of cultural affairs in Korea. Her studying field ranges from development of Hallyu and international cultural exchanges to analysis on related cultural policy, and government’s role within the field. Having received her M.A. in Arts MBA at the same University and advanced interpretation studies between Korean and English at ChungAng University, Seoul, her studies cover a wide range of fields in terms of mutual cultural exchanges on the international level. Studying currently on experiences of participant artists of cultural policy project using K-Pop, her major interest can be narrowed into analysis on the government policy related with Hallyu and its limits or implications.

Hyejin Jo Hyejin Jo

Research Assistant
Mapping Cultural Relations

Hyejin Jo is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Her research draws on critical media studies, cultural studies, and feminist political economy of communication and queries the intersection of South Korean popular culture, digital platforms, and gender. She is interested in the relationship between audience labour and feelings as commodities in the K-pop scene. She is working on her doctoral dissertation investigating how K-pop idols' and fans' affective labour and feelings are platformized through K-pop fan platforms. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals like International Journal of Communication and Pacific Affairs.

Project Advisors

Seok-Kyeong Hong Seok-Kyeong Hong

Project Advisor
Global Media and Culture

Seok-Kyeong Hong is a Professor of Communication at Seoul National University, since 2013. She has worked at Korean Broadcasting Commission as Chief researcher (1996-1999) and was an Associate Professor of the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at University of Bordeaux 3 (2000-2013). Her major research and teaching interests include Cultural Studies, Visual Methods and Communication, Media Culture, and Transnational and Global Popular Culture. She has published books and articles on Korean television dramas, Hallyu as a cultural consequence of globalization and digital culture, and various digital cultural forms and practices as mukbang (foodbroadcasting). She’s also interested in visual methods and qualitative research design. She has been writing columns on Hallyu and cultural issues for national presses. Her recent research was on the phenomenon of BTS, and a book on the subject is under publication.

Taehwan Kim Taehwan Kim

Project Advisor
Foreign Policy and Soft Power

Dr Taehwan Kim is Professor of Public Diplomacy at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before joining the KNDA in 2013, he had served as Director of Public Diplomacy at the Korea Foundation since 2008. He also taught as Research Professor at the Division of International Education of Yonsei University during 2002 and 2008. He is a book review editor for the English quarterly Global Asia published by the East Asia Foundation. Dr Kim graduated from Yonsei University (B.A. and M.A. in Political Science) and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. His research focus is on Korea's public diplomacy and comparative political economy of post-socialist transformation. His recent works in English include Seeking Recognition in Anarchy: An Identity Approach to Public Diplomacy, A Status Identity Approach to Middle Power Public Diplomacy, China's Sharp Power and South Korea's Peace Initiative and Authoritarian Post-Communist Transition and Its Future in China, Vietnam, and North Korea.

WoongJo Chang WoongJo Chang

Project Advisor
Cultural Policy and Management

Dr WoongJo Chang is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Arts and Cultural Management at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea. Before joining Hongik, he taught in the Arts Leadership Program at Seattle University and earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration from the Ohio State University after studying performing arts at Seoul National University. Chang's research focuses on entrepreneurial practices of small arts organizations and ways to support them. Chang currently serves as Chair of the scientific committee of the Korean Society of Arts and Cultural Management, further solidifying his leadership in the field. He has also contributed to The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, where he's a consulting editor. Chang has a special focus on Hallyu, particularly the global cultivation of its fandom. His current interest in Hallyu emphasizes its transgenerality and transnationality, reflecting Korea's compressed modernity.