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Composed of nine-step ‘ceremony’ of death and omnibus-style short stories, it is presented with Korean traditional music re-created by three composers specializing in film, modern classical music and Korean traditional music. To help the audiences understand each step intuitively, omnibus-type episodes alternate with the music between animations (color or black and white) and different steps. One of the instrument players serve as the host to present a lecture performance. In this way, the performance gives us a chance to see ourselves living in a process of ‘life and death.’Synopsis
The keywords of SaengSa (meaning ‘life and death’ in Korean) are ‘death,’ ‘tradition’ and ‘rules.’ Starting with the story of how a person dies and goes to the otherworld, the performance is composed of nine steps of the Korean traditional ceremony for death. To commemorate the deceased, the performers invite those who are alive and dead. Those who are alive prepare a gift for the deceased and have a party. The raucous party blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead to the point that we do not know who is alive and who is dead. Those who are alive comfort the dead with music, knowing that they must return to their place. This suggests that life and death are linked together to be repeated organically.
Ji-eun Kang frees herself from the conventional framework of the traditional music scene to expand the discourse of musical reflection and to express such a larger discourse with stage art that is in sync with contemporary art. As a haegeum player, Ji-eun Kang keeps the unique attractiveness of the Korean traditional instrument while going beyond tradition to present performances focused on the very existence of an ‘instrument.’ Such a series of works has been carried out flexibly in collaboration with international artists of different genres.
Art director and concept ｜ Ji-eun Kang
Directed and Dramaturge ｜ Ji-eun Kang
Composer ｜ Young-gyu Jang, Sebastian Claren, Tae-won Lee
Producer and PR ｜ Soo-eun Lee
Animation ｜ berryberry
Set & Costume design ｜ Soo-eun Lee
Acoustic ｜ Young-hun Oh
Cast ｜ Ji-eun Kang, Wooung-sik Kim, Joon-young Kim, Hong Yoo
WhatWhy Art is a creative production and project ensemble that gives body to the possibilities of Korean music and instruments by comprehensive approaching with various artistic points of view. Based on Korean tradition, they pursue the productions that develop a bond of sympathy through universal human sentiments. They focus on renewing tradition in collaboration with international artists of different genres. Noting that tradition and modernity are not separate but organically connected, they comprehensively deal with today’s different artistic perspectives, letting go of ideological limits and simple restoration of traditional art. In this way, they are willing to concretize the potential of Korean music and instruments through traditional art.