a closer kpop reading of purple kiss’ ‘can we talk again’

delve into the symbolism in purple kiss’ new MV with BG

Pre-debut girl group Purple Kiss released their single, ‘Can We Talk Again?’ this week. At the time I wrote this, the MV had already amassed more than 2 million views on YouTube, meaning plenty of people have watched the dramatic video. But how closely did those streamers study the details? There’s a lot going on in the visuals for this music video, and taking a close look shows how well it ties into the song.

What Is ‘Can We Talk Again’ by Purple Kiss about, anyway?

Purple Kiss tells the story of someone trying to recover from a breakup. No matter what they do, they cannot forget the person being addressed by the lyrics. Life has begun to lose meaning because the singer cannot stop thinking about the past. They don’t understand what went wrong and desperately want a chance to talk again in hopes of reuniting or at least getting closure.

Dosie’s Dinner Table

Throughout the video, we see Dosie at this dinner table. There is a birthday cake in the middle, suggesting a celebration is underway. Although there are dishes on the table as if there were meant to be other guests in attendance, they are stacked up. This represents being isolated and alone.

When you take a closer look at the other food, you’ll see that it’s not fit to be eaten. Bread and cauliflower both have sharp nails sticking out of them. At one point, Dosie helps herself to a cereal bowl filled with thumbtacks and milk. This symbolizes the idea of hurting yourself both by your past actions and clinging to your memories of someone you lost.

Goeun’s Scissors

While Dosie’s busy with her dinner party for one, Goeun is shown in a room lit with red lights. Behind her hangs what looks to be a soft cozy piece of fabric; however, its ends are frayed and torn suggesting that it has been damaged. As the video progresses, she picks up scissors and begins to stab and tear at the fabric until she makes a hole that she can look through.

The symbol of the fabric can be read two ways. You can think of it as the relationship being described by the song, making Goeun’s actions representative of how she destroyed things. For a more hopeful reading, the fabric can function as the memories. Perhaps by the end she has torn through and is ready to take action either by reconciling with the person she lost or by moving on.

Yuki’s Bathtub

A bath is normally a great way to unwind, but you wouldn’t get much of a soak in Yuki’s bathtub, would you? The lack of water is emblematic of a feeling of discomfort. This ties directly into the following line in the song:

I’m acting like it’s no big deal

Like nothing happened, like I’m calm

But each day is so uncomfortable

It’s also significant that as the video progresses vines begin to grow more and more in the tub. This suggests that she’s been stuck in this uncomfortable place for so long that the world is just going on without her.

Chaein’s Crown

During the video, we find Chaein in this very stark bedroom. The only furnishing is a mattress. Graffiti covers the walls and the only doors just open up to some kind of plumbing. At one point, she dons a crown made up of keys. Later, she takes it off and places it in a wood box. Then, she goes to the doors which are now closed and locked. Toward the end, a shadowy hand reaches for the door.

With its decor, the bedroom conveys a lack of comfort just like the bathtub. The crown is presumably made up of the keys to the doors, but they can no longer be used to undo the locks because they are fused together. This symbolizes the idea that Chaein has trapped herself in her memories. Any attempt to get over the past is a fleeting shadow that can never succeed in breaking her free.

Jieun’s Forest

Some of the most beautiful scenes involve Jieun walking through a forest. It is evident by the bare branches that the forest is in the dead stage of winter, and the lighting conveys the cold glare of a January or February day. Despite the season, she eventually finds flowers blooming. She plucks up the lone blue rose and cradles it gently in her hand near the end of the video.

It’s clear the cold barren forest represents a lonely life where love had died. I believe that the roses symbolize the happier memories of the person being addressed by the song. The blue rose represents the actual person. Holding the flower that way suggests that she doesn’t want to let go, that she wants another chance and will try to use a more delicate touch this time.

There you have it–my analysis of the symbols in the ‘Can We Talk Again?’ music video from Purple Kiss. What did you think of the video? Did you see anything I missed? Tell me about it in the Comments!

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