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Monday, April 15, 2024

Chinese X user faces backlash for ‘Exhuma’ face-writing critique

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A Chinese X user uploaded a compilation of edited photo with Chinese characters drawn onto peoples' faces along with criticism of the trend. [SCREEN CAPTURE]
A Chinese X user uploaded a compilation of edited photo with Chinese characters drawn onto peoples’ faces along with criticism of the trend. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Chinese and Korean people engaged in a heated debate on X, formerly Twitter, after a Chinese user last week called the use of Chinese characters drawn onto people’s faces “insulting” in regards to its portrayal in the blockbuster “Exhuma.”

Photo edits of celebrities with Chinese characters written on their faces have been trending in Korea after their depiction in the film “Exhuma,” where shamans and mediums have Chinese characters drawn onto their faces to ward off evil.

A Chinese user uploaded a compilation of the photo edits and criticized the act, in a post initially written in English and then translated into Korean, onto X on Thursday.

“In China, writing or carving words on your face is a very insulting and humiliating thing,” the user said. “It’s so ridiculous that Koreans write Chinese characters they don’t even know on their faces.”

The Korean version of the post has since been viewed over 6.3 million times and received 71,000 reposts.

“Koreans are somewhat schizophrenic. They hate China, then put Chinese characters on their faces and think it’s a really cool thing. Is there any technical difficulty in engrave Korean characters directly on Korean faces?” she added in a different post on the same day.

Korean users defended the act of writing characters on faces and criticized the user for mocking a shamanistic act in a fictional movie and making it out to be representative of Korean culture, which users further claimed she did not have the right to criticize.

Seo Kyoung-duk, a professor of general education at Sungshin Women’s University, also responded to the post.

“Constructive criticism is good, but I want to advise Chinese viewers that they should from now on stop watching Korean media content illegally,” he said. The film has not been officially released in China.

“I hope they will first learn to respect all countries’ cultures, not just Korean media content,” Seo wrote.

BY KIM JU-YEON [kim.juyeon2@joongang.co.kr]