We are delighted to connect with you virtually at the click of a button! We invite you to join us, whenever you are ready, from wherever you are, on myriad creative journeys, where with valued partners in India and in Korea, we explore new pathways and experiences, re-visit the magic of past performances and exciting exhibitions or present those newly imagined from creation to reception and distribution on digital platforms. In this edition, through virtual presentations, we present evocative journeys and sensory experiences that are moored in local culture but travel the world to resonate with audiences worldwide!
We hope, with this e-digest, to stay meaningfully connected with you, to discover and engage with the unique, local characteristics as well as the shared, global dimensions of the dynamic, ongoing intercultural dialogue between India and Korea.
K-Sori - Episode 2
Yeonhwa & The Sero
Date: Friday, 8 October 2021 | Time: 6.00 p.m. IST
K-Sori, is an episodic series presented in association with Lotte Foundation, Noreum Machi and Nowpan Korea, to showcase emergent young musicians from
Korea who provide a contemporary twist to traditional instrumentation and compositions. The series presents select winners of the annual Chulsapyo competition that began in 2015 in Korea to provide scholarships to high school and college students to encourage them to study gugak (traditional Korean music) and create qualitative compositions using traditional Korean instruments. The series celebrates the spitit of this initiative which aims to nurture, preserve and promote traditional Korean music amongst young musicians and a contemporary audience, both in Korea and around the world.
Episode 2 - Yeonhwa & The Sero
Yeonhwa 여성연희단 연화
Yeonhwa, founded in 2018, comprises a group of women who aim to blend the new customs of this era with the spirit of Wonhwa, exemplified by the former Hwarang, an elite warrior group of male youth in the Shilla dynasty. Yeonhwa aims to eliminate the boundary between the performer and the audience and create performance pieces that can communicate with each other by taking advantage of the space of madang (yard), the most notable characteristic of traditional entertainment, in order to provide more in-depth analysis of the musical structure of the composition. In addition, by using the beauty of restraint, Yeonhwa aims to create work that acentuates the beauty of the line that runs through and links the delicate art of traditional music, dance and singing.
Playing under the blue moon
Since ancient times, people have lived in tune with their own customs. Looking at the same moon, someone drinks, sings and dances. Some others used to pray for
a wish to come true. Yeonhwa aims to enjoy their own pungnyu (taste for the arts) under the rising moon.
Performers & Instruments
Lee Jihee - Janggu (hourglass-shaped drum).
Ahn Yoohee - Buk (barrel-shaped).
Won Jaeyeon - Jing (large gong), Kkwaenggwari (small gong).
Choi Yubin - Kkwaenggwari (small gong).
Choi Yesong - Jing (large gong).
Taepyeongso (double reed wood-wind instrument).
The Sero The 세로
The Sero presents new compositions central to the traditional musical language featuring vocal, gayageum (plucked zither), ajaeng (bowed zither) and janggu (hourglass shaped drum), expanding the realm of what Korean traditional music is in contemporary society.
Their current work expresses inner conflicts of characters, relationships between characters and the relationship between people and society, by interpreting the characters of pansori (traditional epic drama) from a contemporary perspective.
They aim to interpret society from a younger generation’s point of view, expressing their perspective through music that balances tradition and modernity.
A Path of Life
This piece is motivated by the story of Simcheongga, the pansori repertoire with the theme of filial piety. The main storyline of Simcheongga is that Sim Cheong, raised by her father who is blind, embodies filial piety and becomes a sacrifice to the God of the Sea, jumping into the deep sea in order to help her father regain
his sight. This piece expresses the conflict between Sim Cheong and her father, represented by the instruments gayageum and ajaeng, respectively.
Performers & Instruments
Kim Bumsik - Ajaeng (bowed zither).
Yang Seongtae - Janggu (hourglass-shaped drum), Percussion.
Dance on Film is a specially curated series of contemporary dance projects developed by the Korean National Contemporary Dance Company. The series, co-presented by InKo Centre and the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, will comprise a total of 5 films, varied in theme and technique, to present some of the most exciting choreographers and dancers in Korea today. With the pandemic looming large, the films provide a window to the resilience of the artists in these unprecedented times, acknowledges the march of technology and the blurring of the real and the virtual and examines deeper
fundamental questions of co-existence between Man and Nature and of the possibility of transformation and resurgence through art.
In Episode 3 of this series, we present Untact Impro led by Polarfront, an underground and high-tech music artist and DJ.
Choreographers & Dancers: Kim Keonjoong, An Youngjun, Lee Yunjung, Jang Kyungmin.
Cultural heritage provides both tangible and intangible representations of the values, beliefs, traditions and lifestyles of prior generations, which through careful preservation, continue to have relevance in contemporary times.
The Cultural Heritage Series aims to focus episodically on introducing and celebrating singular aspects of Korea's cultural traditions. In the fifth episode of this series, we focus on Namsadong Nori which is literally an ‘all-male vagabond clown theatre’, a multifaceted folk performance tradition originally practised widely by travelling entertainers and now kept alive by professional troupes in the Republic of Korea. The performance is made up of six components:
A segment of ‘farmers’ music’ emphasizing the percussive sounds of metal gongs and animal-hide drums;
A mask dance presenting four comic scenes that depict people from different social classes;
A tightrope walking act with an acrobat on a high-wire engaged in witty exchanges with a clown below;
A performance with puppets where more than fifty puppets act out seven scenes together with a narrator and musicians;
An acrobatic segment that combines physical feats performed on the ground with comic dialogue and
Music and an intricate display of hoop spinning with a wooden stick.
In addition to entertaining rural audiences that would surround the performers in outdoor arenas, Namsadang Nori carried an important social message. The mask dance and puppet performance in particular enacted the oppression of the lower classes as well as women in a male-dominated society. Through satire, these performances raised issues on behalf of those with no political voice and manifested ideals of equality and freedom, in order to provide solace and inspiration to the poor.
In 1964, the South Korean government designated deolmi (puppet play) as the third Important Intangible Cultural Property and 1988, all six performances of Namsadang nori were included in the Important Intangible Cultural Properties list.
Ottchil (lacquerware) craft artist, Eunhee Lee seeks to reinterpret traditional oriental beauty into crafts that resonate with contemporaneity. Through an
immersive design work process with both a keen sense of modernity and deep understanding of traditional craftsmanship, Eunhee Lee’s work includes research, experiment and boundless attempts to harmonise the art of combining the old and the new.
The Aesthetics of Waiting provides a window to Eunhee Lee's process as with dedication, passion and patience, she creates products that exude both utilitarian
value and the essence of beauty and harmony of ottchil - Korea's gift to the world!
Comprising a virtual walkthrough, a film about the artist's work process; a critical review of her work and a comprehensive list of relevant artworks, the exhibition
invites you on a journey of discovery of the beauty and harmony of ottchil - Korea's gift to the world!