As an addition to my individual digital artefact, I wanted to take some time to write down my thoughts and perceptions on my KPop experience.
First of all, this artefact was one of the most fun and exciting assignments I have ever undertaken. I haven’t had a university assignment to date, where I was free to choose my own platform, completely submerge myself into a new experience, and document my findings. When commencing this subject, I was really hesitant. Not being familiar with many aspects of ‘Digital Asia’, and basically being totally out of my comfort zone, made me question whether this was the right subject for me.
I can say now, that if I didn’t continue on in this subject, I would be so disappointed in myself. It has truly been an incredible experience which has opened my eyes to a culture that is so vast, exciting, broad, innovative and a one of a kind, and I’m so happy that I have learned the things I have.
My individual digital artefact took me to a place I never thought I would be. Attending a Big Bang concert is every VIP’s dream (or marrying one of the members), and for one night I was given the chance to become a part of the experience of being in the VIP fandom. And let me tell you, it was one of the greatest experiences, and one that I won’t forget. My artefact allowed me to analyse what I was watching, and what this boyband is all about. I had the opportunity to witness a subculture outside my own, and experience a true VIP fandom moment.
I was proved wrong on many occasions, which was great. I expected to be completely out of my depth. The language barrier was my biggest concern and I expected the band to not speak English and I would be stuck there thinking “What on Earth is going on?”. This was naivety at its finest. The way each of them spoke in English was so eloquent and I was taken by huge surprise. They connected with the crowd, the way any Western musician would, and I felt somewhat guilty that I had any doubt.
I was expecting to see a vast majority of Asian fans, given that Big Bang are not mainstream here in Australia. But again, I was so wrong. The fans in attendance were predominantly Westerners! I had no clue that there would be such an influx, and it made me proud to see an acceptance and love towards a genuinely talented music group, despite their ethnicity. The band showed photos of the places they visited in Sydney, tried their best Australian accent and had a million stuffed toy kangaroos and koalas on stage. There was a mutual admiration for both cultures, which is great to see.
Also, I assumed that the concert attendance would be small, and not enough people to take up the seats at Allphones Arena, given that they are a Korean band. My assumptions were again, WRONG. In fact, both their Sydney shows were SOLD OUT! And there was line that went around the ENTIRE arena with fans waiting for 3 days, to get the best possible spot in General Admission. There were fans dressed up as the boys, their music playing on loudspeaker and everyone singing along, food stalls, there was press from the Sydney Morning Herald and so much pre-concert entertainment from the official Big Bang dancers, which was the best way to get the experience started. I was exposed to a world of fun, colour, unique characters and I am honoured to have experienced what I did. If I didn’t then I would still have the same expectations and stereotypes I did, before DIGC330. And that wouldn’t be the right way to live!
This experience taught me so many new things about a culture that I have grown to love and appreciate. Without this experience, I would still have no idea who Big Bang are, what KPop is, the idea that there is no boundary between the language of music and how anyone, of any ethnicity can come together and appreciate one another’s culture in this type of environment.
Thankyou DIGC330, for this amazing and unforgettable autoethnographic experience.