You may look down on it as American (Hollywood) cultural imperialism, but there is nothing insincere about TUX uncles' desire to be a James Bond (007), a Jedi Knight, or an Avengers - same earnestness applies to most people's familiarity with hotdog, Broadway shows, and American values. This is known as SoftPower (軟實力: https://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E8%BD%AF%E5%AE%9E%E5%8A%9B). TUX takes a look at how SoftPower is acquired and maintained.
Kelly (陳慧如), a script writer for several award winning TV shows and movies, looks at the rise (and relative decline) of cultural prowess of Japan and Korea.
Japanese entertainment used to dominate Asian attention but it is shaped by Japanese domestic consumers and business model. This results in a content format that has not changed for decades despite innovation and competitions from new comers such as Netflix. On a relative scale, Japanese content is less compelling outside of Japan today. Where Japan has continued to have a major presence is Anime (animation) which retained its flexibility due to its origin in comic books.
With the success of Korean TV series Autumn in My Heart (藍色生死戀) in 2000, Korea created a government department for entertainment and tourism. The heads of the department reads like a list of who-is-who of Korean entertainment éminence grise. This structure gives the department credibility and attracts talents to participate in policies creation and implementation.
Korea also restricts imported content and requires showing of domestically produced content during prime time. These policies allow its domestic industry to survive the early growing pains. It is also supported by Korean chaebols which treat entertainment as a business. Namely, Korean content is driven by producers who focuses on the commercial viability, unlike Japan (or Taiwan) where directors dominate. Today, we see Korean entertainment has become a major force on the world stage , to wit Parasite (寄生上流) won the 92nd Academy Awards (Oscar): Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.
What will the next 20 years bring?
- Kelly personal archive