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Title K-Content EXPO Central Europe 2017 successfully ended
No Inquiry 316 Date 2017.08.22

<A poster of K-Content EXPO Central Europe 2017 (Source: The Facebook page of the Korean Cultural Center in Poland>

 

K-Content EXPO Central Europe 2017 was held in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, from August 10 to 11, attracting many local Hallyu fans. Jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, the Korea Creative Content Agency, and the Korean Cultural Center in Poland, the exhibition was the first in its kind in the Central-East Europe region. It was planned to support the overseas advance of Hallyu contents and promote the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

 

The first day of the expo was highlighted with one-to-one export meetings held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw between 12 Korean animation and game companies and 90 local enterprises from Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and other countries in the region.

 

The next day, cultural events for local Hallyu enthusiasts were run at Torbar Hall, an indoor arena in the city. From 10:00 to 16:00, an exhibition that covers pop music, dramas, animations, characters, webtoons, and games of Korea and a Korean traditional culture experience program were operated. At 19:00, a K-Pop showcase, the gem of this event, started in a lively atmosphere. The entrance to the venue was thronged with Hallyu fans waiting for their turn to get their ticket all day long. One of them queued up from four in the morning, six hours earlier than the scheduled ticketing issuing time. All the 3,500 tickets were sold out within nine minutes after going on sale online. Many Polish Hallyu fans who had failed in ticket booking kept posting their comments on the website of the Korean Cultural Center in Poland, sharing their stories and asking those who had got their tickets for a concession.

 

 

<The experience zone for the animated film, a representative K-Content>

 

The pavilions at Torbar Hall were bustled with Hallyu enthusiasts taking pictures in front of the photos of K-Pop stars who were planned to perform in the showcase and actors and actresses starring in Korean drama series popular in Poland. Korean traditional culture experiencing zones that provided programs such as printmaking, hanbok experience, Korean traditional mask and fan making, as well as an idol group badge making booth, were especially crowded with visitors. On the main stage, K-pop music videos, dramas, and films that are popular in Poland were continuously screened. The expo turned into a festival with fans dancing to the music being played and cheering when their favorite drama protagonists appeared on the screen.

 

Programs to introduce Korean cosmetics were also run along with those for K-Pop, Korean dramas and movies. A K-Beauty team, consisting of Polish and other Central East Europeans, demonstrated a make-up application using Korean cosmetics on a model on the main stage and held a Korean cosmetics quiz show after inviting 10 participants to the stage. Questions regarding Korean women's make-up application order, Korean cosmetics brand names and many more were given in order to increase the interest and curiosity in Korean cosmetics.

 

<Hallyu fans waiting for the opening of the K-Pop showcase>

 

Finally, when the curtains rose for the long-awaited showcase, the Hallyu fans in the arena welcomed the guests―Victon, Parc Jae Jung, Eddy Kim, 24K, Apink, and Teen Top―with loud and enthusiastic cheers. 24K, who had already held three concerts in Poland, drew the most explosive response. The fans sang a Polish traditional birthday song for Jung Eun-ji and Yoon Bo-mi from Apink, and Teen Top's Niel, who was born in August. All the singers and groups gave such a captivating performance that all the audiences remained so absorbed in this two-hour concert.

 

<The K-Pop showcase that attracted an explosive response>

 

Poland's prominent daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and the local newspaper Nowe Miasto covered the event with a detailed introduction of Hallyu. Most of the participants were girls from not only Poland but also other European countries. Ola and Magda, high school students and fans of Victon and Parc Jae Jung, and 24K, said there were many exciting programs where they could actively participate in the expo, rather than just seeing it passively. Claudia (16) and Monica (16), who are fans of 24K and Apink, are most interested in Korean cosmetics among the expo program topics. They said that they would like to visit Korea, learn Korean culture and language, and try tteokbokki and kimchi. The event confirmed the undiminished enthusiasm for Hallyu in Poland.

 

* Choi Yoon Kyo, Correspondent of KOFICE in Poland