Living Entrepreneurship Blog / The Arts

The Art of Korean Drama

Abby Vargas:

When people hear “Korean Drama” the last thing they probably think of is art; actually, most people just roll their eyes at me and tell me i’m a hopeless romantic. BUT there is so much art involved in the creation of Korean dramas and embedded into the plots themselves.

First, writing and directing a KD is an art form itself. A KD writer gets to be creative and add twists that leave people wondering what is going to happen next. It satisfies viewers for that episode and it leaves them wanting more. It’s like writing a book and watching it actually come to life!

Directors, on the other hand, make the scenes look good. It takes true art and vision to decide the best shot to take, what angle to show, etc. In a movie or when shooting you can’t just point the camera directly at actors and keep it there forever, that would get boring. Next time you watch a movie or something on TV, pay more attention at what angles the camera is placed when shooting. Half the time we don’t realize just how many angles and different points of view we get in just one scene. And each angle portrays something different, like in the picture below. The actress is in the same position but the different angles show emotion differently. Words aren’t even necessary. Directors have to be able to visualize this as scenes are being shot. That can’t be easy!

I am not very fashionable; I find most “fashionable” clothing to be uncomfortable but I love to watch fashion shows on TV and online. Korean people have an interesting taste in fashion. They wear some of the most interesting outfits, things that you would not imagine someone wearing on any given day. Designers create art that people can wear every day and designers for Korean clothing, especially for these dramas, are extremely creative. Check out some of the outfits in these dramas, I especially feel the boys in the top right are wearing suits that boys probably would not wear on a regular basis, but they look so cool!

Lastly, art can be found in the characters played in dramas. The very first drama I watched is called Secret Garden and it is about a stunt woman and a rich boy who fall in love. Her stunt job is an art form itself. Not to mention the boy’s cousin, who in the drama is a very loved singer in Korea (and I believe he is in real life as well). In my second drama, Pasta, we see a chef who prides herself in her food. Creating a tasty dish and presenting it properly is an art form, too. In Boys Over Flowers the arts portrayed range from violin and guitar-playing to pottery. You Are Beautiful, the number one KD  at the moment is about a girl who poses as a guy for a famous Korean band. Throughout the whole drama we see concerts and singing (and a lot of these concerts actually took place for the filming, fans got to watch them play!).

My favorite part of all has been the soundtracks. After every drama I watch I look up the soundtracks on iTunes and usually purchase the whole thing. Korean music is so beautiful and the love songs are so pretty. I may not always understand exactly what they are saying, but the music itself is beautiful.

So yes, I am a hopeless romantic and I love watching Korean Dramas to get lost in another world for a while, but I’m not just being sucked into nothingness. There is true art found in these dramas, people just need to look past the name and surface. Having watched these dramas has sparked an interest in Korean culture (more like Asian culture in general) and to immerse myself in the culture I plan on studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea next year. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to live out my own Korean drama? 😉

Here are recommended dramas that I have watched and LOVED:

  • Secret Garden
  • Boys Over Flowers
  • You Are Beautiful
  • Pasta
  • City Hunter
  • Stars Falling from the Sky

Happy watching!

Abby Vargas, Class of 2015