Oli London is a young English citizen fascinated by South Korea, and in particular by Jimin, a singer in the K-pop group BTS, whose international popularity is generating something close to a cult phenomenon. For several years, Oli London has been engaged in a process of transforming their body and identity in order to become one with their Korean idol. This means not only aesthetic surgery on the face but also the determination to become a K-pop star. Today, they are adulated by some and hated by others, who accuse them of appropriation and cultural fetishism.

The film stages the development of their identity via a Korean tale from the 13th century, the legend of a young sculptor who was commanded by the gods to produce a series of masks that were to remain unseen by any man on pain of death – a prohibition that, fatally, was transgressed. This tale accompanies a tradition of shamanic mask dances which are still performed today in the village of Hahoe. By embodying two characters from the tale, Oli London metaphorically tells their own story, but also that of the contemporary plasticity of digital identities and idolatry.

Gangnam Beauty, film poster by Charles Villa, 50 x 70 cm, silkscreened by Lézard Graphique
Gangnam Beauty, HD video, 23'11''
With: Oli London, Manu Park, Ho-Chul Ryu, O-Joung Kim, Jin Hoon
Assistant director : Camille Honorez
DOP : Victor Zébo
Sound recordist : Raphaël Zucconi
Production designer : Yan Tomaszewski
Set designer : Louise Morin
Film editors : Yan Tomaszewski, Benjamin Cataliotti Valdina
Special effects : Yan Tomaszewski
Color grading : Maxence Lemonnier
Sound designer/editor : Benjamin Poilane
Re-recording mixer : Rémi Mencucci
Production: Le Fresnoy Studio national des arts contemporains
Co-production: Backyard Films
With the support of: Daejeon Culture and Arts Foundation, Institut Français Seoul