K-pop flows and Indonesian student pop scenes: situating live Asian pop music in an ‘Asian’ Australia

Aline Scott-Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Transnational responses to globalisation in the Asia-Pacific region have included the flow of Asian pop genres throughout Asia and beyond, which pose a modest challenge to the normative dominance of Anglophone pop globally. Over the last decade, Australia has entered this flow and become part of the market for Asian pop. Iwabuchi argues that ‘burgeoning popular culture flows have given new substance to the ambiguous imaginary space of “Asia”’. Recent growth in the Australian consumption and production of Asian popular music and media coupled with rapidly expanding, diverse and fluid Asian-Australian diaspora populations and communities of transient migrants from Asia, specifically international students, who together form Asian pop’s primary consumers in Australia, highlight the ambiguity of both ‘the imaginary space of “Asia”’ and the imaginary space of ‘Australia’. The article considers Australian engagement with Asian pop from two perspectives: K-pop dominated media production and commercial scale concerts of East Asian pop and the social and experiential dimension of how international students engage with live Asian pop. Ethnographic case studies of two Asian pop events draw attention to the self-contained, socially and culturally demarcated communities of international students in Australia. They illustrate how such concert events express shared identities; a collective sense of community, belonging and agency; and, further, a connectedness to ‘Asia’ and a disconnectedness to the Australian societies that enable their communities and pop music activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalMedia International Australia
Volume175
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Asia-Australia
  • Asian popular culture
  • diasporic cultures
  • Indonesian pop
  • K-pop
  • popular music in Australia

Cite this