Writer Heo Ji Woong criticized the attitude of Chinese netizens who terrorized NewJeans with malicious comments for promoting Hanji.
On the morning of January 10th, Heo Ji Woong said, “A famous girl group appeared in the promotional video for Hanji (traditional Korean paper handmade from mulberry trees) but controversies arose. Chinese netizens flocked in and poured malicious comments. Papermaking was invented in China then spread around the world. Then why does it call ‘Hanji’?”.
The writer continued, “They even left a comment, saying ‘When Wang Xizhi (a Chinese calligrapher, politician, general and writer during the Jin dynasty) was alive, your country did not even exist’. I’m not claiming that Korea invented paper, but I don’t understand why they (Chinese netizens) call his Hanji promotional video ‘cultural appropriation’”.
He pointed out, “It makes no sense to compare Wang Xizhi from the Jin dynasty (266 AD~420 AD) with our country, which was already there since the Three Kingdoms period of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla (57 BC~668 AD). Above all, Wang Xizhi was not a paper maker, but a calligrapher. Papermaking was invented by Cai Lun, a eunuch of the Eastern Han dynasty. Mentioning Wang Xizhi in the discussion on papermaking is like referring to Schumacher while talking about the invention of the wheel”.
He added, “‘As for all that happiness, in a blink of time, it is already a past tantalizing memory. The future generations will look upon us just like we look upon the past. How sad!’ is part of Wang Xizhi’s Lanting Xu (Preface of the Orchid Pavilion). Such a nice sentence. The future generations will look upon us just like we look upon the past, so it is better for us to study history at that time than to be obsessed with the victim mentality and spit out words and writings.”
Earlier on Jan 6th, NewJeans appeared in a promotional video for the “2022 Korean Wave-linked Collaborative Content Planning and Development Support” project planned by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Craft & Design Foundation to promote the charm of Korean traditional culture “Hanji”.
However, Chinese netizens are continuing to leave malicious comments on NewJeans’ SNS, claiming that “Korea stole paper technology” and “Korea fabricated the fact that they are the originator of paper.”