May 16, 2015
So, What is Psy Like as a Keynote Speaker?
At the recent CHI 2015 conference on Human-Computer Interaction in the heart of Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea, we had a somewhat unexpected keynote speaker: Park Jae-Sang, also known as Psy, probably most famous for a certain song called Gangnam Style.
Why did I say Park Jae-Sang spoke? Because that’s who came. No glasses, no kooky clothes, no props, no silly dance. Just a man in a business suit and a microphone.
Park Jae-Sang is an ambitious man who is very conscious of the image he projects. At the same time, he tries to be himself. His constant jokes about his weight made it clear that he chose to stay his chubby self, despite K-Pop pressures to be slender and beautiful. His constant jokes about his English (which was excellent) showed his insistence on his Korean roots.
The tale he told was not of a Social Media Ninja, but of a shrewd business man whose associates told him about this YouTube thing – they convinced him, so he decided to explore it.
Then, he explored fame, and what it means to have a global hit. He concluded that Gangnam Style was a one-off, and the way forward for him is to be who he is – Park Jae-Sang, composer, businessman, artist, Korean, uniquely himself.