IU in a film titled Persona/Courtesy of Mystic Entertainment

K-pop stars come up with film, new album titled persona

Last month, few Koreans knew about “persona,” a terminology coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology as a successor of Sigmund Freud. 

But this month, Koreans are being inundated with the difficult term thanks to Korean pop stars, singer-songwriter IU and the world’s biggest boy band BTS.

According to Wikipedia, it refers to the social face the individual presented to the world, a kind of mask designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other hand to conceal the true nature of the individual.

IU comes first as the 25-year-old singer-actress, whose real name is Lee Ji-eun, made her film debut in the Netflix original “Persona,” which became available on the global streaming site starting April 5.

The movie is a collection of four short films directed by four famous Korean directors. IU plays a totally different character in each of the four, which directors said were inspired by the K-pop sensation.

Exactly a week later the film’s release, the seven members of BTS dropped their fourth studio album “Map of the Soul: Persona,” which put the idol group in the center of global attention.

The music video of the mini album’s main track “Boy With Luv” amassed more than 100 million YouTube views in less than 38 years to set an all-time record of the world’s largest video-sharing site.

The seven-track album’s sales from April 12 to 18 also topped 2 million copies to break the record for the most albums sold in one week and all time, Hanteo Chart announced last week.

The septet also ranked No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It marked the third time in less than a year for the idol group to top the Billboard 200 after their two previous albums of “Love Yourself: Tear” and “Love Yourself: Answer.

By now, it would be difficult for any Koreans to say that they had never heard of “persona,” without regard to whether they understand its precise meaning.

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Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at jumphigher55@aol.com or 82-2-6956-6698.