Accordingly, fan culture that used to be unique in Korea is spreading to western countries. In honor of their favorite stars, fans in Asia donate their blood and money for the stars’ birthdays. Western fans are learning the dedicated, loyal, and hard-working Korean fan culture. Western fans practice Korean chant songs and choreography to dance in sync with K-pop music. They study their favorite stars’ detailed information, such as their favorite colors and blood types. The influence can also be seen in fans enjoying K-pop-related tattoos, fashion, and dance clubs.
“They really helped me to understand that bad things do happen, but they make me who I am and they are a gift in a weird way,” Arionna Gonsalves, 25, in Maryland, says about BTS, a K-pop group whose album title became her first tattoo. “I understand loss a lot more than I did before I started listening to BTS.”
This photo essay asks K-pop fans like Gonsalves in Korea, Denmark, and the U.S., "Why do you love K-pop? What does K-pop mean to you? How does K-pop influence you?"