Theatre-Lecture Performance / 60min / Korean with English subtitles
A journey through the last 20 years of Korean history told by a bunch of talkative rice cookers.
One day when his electric rice cooker informed him that his meal was ready, Jaha Koo experienced a deep sense of isolation. ‘Golibmuwon’ (고립무원) is an untranslatable Korean word expressing the feeling of helpless isolation that characterizes the lives of many young people in Korea today.
Twenty years ago there was a major economic crisis in South-Korea, comparable to the financial crash in the United States and Southern Europe in 2008. This crisis had a huge impact on the young generation to which South Korean artist Jaha Koo belongs. He witnessed many endemic problems including youth unemployment and socio-economic inequality. Rising suicide rates, isolation, acute social withdrawal and a fixation on personal appearance are but a few of the symptoms.
In bittersweet and humorous dialogues, Jaha and his clever rice cookers take you on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history, combining personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness, economic crises and death.
Concept, direction, text, music, video: Jaha Koo
Performance: Hana, Duri, Seri & Jaha Koo
Cuckoo hacking: Idella Craddock
Scenography, media operation: Eunkyung Jeong
Dramaturgical advice: Dries Douibi
Production: Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek
Coproduction: Bâtard Festival
Support: CAMPO, STUK, BUDA, DAS, SFAC & Noorderzon / Grand Theatre Groningen
Funded by Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie
Premiere: Steirischer Herbst (AT, 2017)
© Wolf Silveri (Graz), © Radovan Dranga (Gent), © Eunkyung Jeong (Brussels)
Lolling and Rolling
Lecture Performance / 45min / English
In South Korea, there was a big controversy concerning children’s tongue surgery for better English pronunciation. The surgery is known as a lingual frenectomy. Some people thought that it is possible to have better English pronunciation through the surgery, especially for “R” which is not an existing consonant in the Korean language. Therefore some parents have forced their children to go through the tongue operation, even though the children had a normal tongue.
Lolling and Rolling penetrates Korean’s tragic social phenomenon related to English education. Theater maker Jaha Koo reveals the tragedy through a fictional story, video and sound work. It contextualizes not only contemporary issues but also historical events related to colonialism and imperialism.
Text, Directing, Video, Music and Performance: Jaha Koo
Voiceover: Philip Matesic
Artistic advisors: Edit Kaldor, Dries Douibi
Photo: Thomas Lenden
Premiere: Zürcher Theater Spektakel (CH, 2015)
© Thomas Lenden (Amsterdam)