Psy wins Korea Image Award

Psy

Singer and rapper Psy of “Gangnam Style” is the winner of the Korea Image Stepping Stone Award given by the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI).

Headed by Choi Jung-wha, CICI announced the winners of the 2013 Korea Image Award Thursday. YouTube will be awarded the Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award for playing a key role in encouraging the popularity of “Gangnam Style” and other “hallyu” or Korean wave content. The Korea Image Budding Youth Award will go to pianist Lee Hyuk, the youngest winner of the 8th International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow last year.

Lee Hyuk

Psy has been selected for his contribution to enhancing the national image by breaking records in major music charts worldwide. “He has brought down the barriers of the world pop culture by dominating the major music charts and promoted diversity of Korean pop culture to the world,” Choi said.

The award ceremony will be held at Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul on Jan. 15.

Since 2005, CICI has recognized individuals, groups and others that contributed to enhancing the image of Korea in the world.

Apart from the awards, CICI asked 502 foreigners and locals about the most representative image of Korea, which the respondents said were corporations such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG. The image of Korea as a divided nation came in second, while K-pop singers such as Psy, Big Bang and Girls’ Generation came in third.

More than 70 percent of both Korean and foreign participants said that they came to better know Korea through Psy, indicating that the rapper has contributed to uplifting the national image.

Concerning the question of how long hallyu can remain popular, 35 percent of foreigners said that it will last for more than 10 years from now while Koreans expected that it will continue for just four to six years.

The institute says that hallyu has lasted for more than 20 years since it burgeoned around 1990s in some Asian countries such as China and Japan due to the explosive popularity of Korean dramas.

“Now it has spread to Europe, North America and South America through various genres. It is distinguishable that foreigners expected the longer stay of the hallyu population than Koreans did,” Choi said. <The Korea Times/Chung Ah-young>

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