TV Dramas

Department of Aesthetics & Korean Studies
The Sorbonne School of the Arts & National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations

Actually I’m a PhD student and I would like to initiate a research Team or Group, around contemporary TV series in the field of Aesthetics. For example : my research focuses on contemporary TV serials produced in South Korea which has a unique form of storytelling that Aesthetics can reveal. With regard to the program, I know I want to study the History of scenic Art in order to understand the culture heritage from which Korean drama has developed. My first goal was to further elucidate the role of traditional theatrical forms, like Mask dance dramas and Pansori and how they inspired contemporary serials. My second goal was to meet again and interview representatives of the Korean-Drama industry as the scriptwriter SONG Jae Jeong, the director HAN Hee to bring more relevance to my aesthetic postulate. The objective is a better understanding of what inspired scriptwriters in different cultures to reveal the specificities of serials and how their context of production that can lead to a new form of Art.

Korean dramas are one of the most relevant television serials as they are intended for a foreign audience even if they are mostly produced inside the country. This cultural export originated at the beginning of the 21st century from the will of the South Korean government to promote its tourism in China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Then a second wave reached Western countries. It is called Hallyu which « is a term describing the spread of Korean popular culture outside its native borders, also known as the Korean Wave ». Thus the most famous dramas at that time were Autumn in My Heart (2000 – exported in 12 countries), Winter Sonata (2002 – exported in 19 countries). A drama is a complete story divided into several episodes. It is the type of television fiction that is most widespread in Asia. Korean dramas address stories abroad to make foreigners understand their own culture. In doing so, scriptwriters reveal their own criticism of their society. As the theatrical forms of traditional Korean Mask dance dramas they use conflict to advance the plot : « each Gwajang presents a new conflict or subject matter, and they all liberate the society of the late Joseon period.» (JEON Kyung-wook – The Theatrical Forms of Korean Mask Dance Dramas – Seoul – Youlhwadang (2005), p 197) Nowadays Korean-Dramas point their cameras on society and take a look at reality.