Festival Postscript 5 – Book Reading (24 September)
Poet Kim So Yeon / Music - Choi Ko-un
The second day of book readings and performances opened with Choi Ko-un's song, "The Boatman's Ditty." As the tranquil sounds
of Choi Ko-un’s guitar played in the background, Kim So Yeon recited her poems, "Therefore," "A Mathematician's Morning," "Okinawa,
Tunisia, Francis Jammes," and "Taman Negara." The recitation of "Okinawa, Tunisia, Francis Jammes" sounded like a duet in which Choi's
music and the poet's voice interweaved. Kim So Yeon once remarked that Choi Ko-un’s music was "replete with spaces." Maybe that was
why the two genres of poetry and music seeped into each other's spaces, creating an abundant whole.
Poet Dan Disney (Australia) / Media Art - Jeong Hyo-jeong
Dan Disney recited his poem, "either, Orpheus." He also explained the avant-garde experiments he was fond of attempting in his
poetry. A wave of satisfaction seemed to sweep over the audience after they heard the poet explain his geometrical poem "(ii) ," as
if they had been given a piece that would solve the puzzle. After the recitation was over, there was a screening of media artist
Jeong Hyo-jeong's video art piece. The piece, created by combining illustrations, photographs, and movies, was based on sections
“(ii)” and “(v)” of the poem. The artist prepared the art piece through detailed discussions with the poet to present an interpretation
as close as possible to the poet’s original intent.
Poet Park Sangsoon / Dance - Kwon Hye-ran Dance Company
Park Sangsoon, Korea's modernist poet, chose one of his early works entitled, "I Exist Filthily" for his recitation. It is a peculiar
poem that is symbolic and abstract while also having clear narrative and vivid imagery. Three dancers from the Kwon Hye-ran
Dance Company showcased a mysterious dance based on the poem's narrative and rhythm. The dismal and sharp sound of the
haegeum, the traditional Korean fiddle, blended the poet's recitation with the dancers' movements. It was a masterful rendition in
which even the artists’ panting breaths seemed to be part of the poem.
Poet Denja Abdullahi (Nigeria) / Play - Park Jeong-hun & Lee Cho-rong
After giving a brief explanation of his poetry, Denja Abdullahi recited his poems: “Doubting Lover,” “Mirage,” “Let us not rave”
and “A Soap from Dakar.” The poet, who believed poetry should be the source of love and joy for people, showcased poems
that were easy to understand and recite from memory. Actors Park Jeong-hun and Lee Cho-rong demonstrated how one could
adapt a poem for courtship through a play based on the poem, "Hanging Out in an Abuja Garden." There was also an event in
which the single people in the audience were paired up. Denja Abdullahi said he was delighted that his poetry could act like a
bridge of love.
Novelist Han Yujoo / Play: Kim Shin-rok & Park Kyung-chan
In Han Yujoo's short story "Impossible Fairytales," the line separating dream and reality is ambiguous. The story mostly consists of
a long monologue with a scattering of dialogues. Han Yujoo's low, unemotional voice stood out during the book reading that was
interwoven into a play. The author's distinctive language that flowed briskly was communicated by the actors through movement.
Walking, running, cuddling, clawing…The dynamic performance overflowing with movements helped the audience to experience
the story’s allure through sight and sound.
Novelist Daniel Levin Becker (America) / Actors: Kim Su-yeon, Seo Kwang-il, Seo kyung-hwa /
Music: Yang Yun-hwa, Kim Hye-won
The plot of Daniel's short story "Incidental Music" is centered on the chance discovery of a mysterious musical score.
The novelist calmly read out the beginning of his story. The play that followed the book reading delicately handled the subject
matter of the relationship of a man and a woman who become lovers through the discovery of the score and the psychology of
a widow who seeks a keepsake. Impromptu sounds of the synthesizer, lyre and Psalter (medieval German zither) intermingled with
the play. The author exclaimed that tough he could not understand the dialogues because of the language barrier, he could tell
that his story had been conveyed wholly by watching the actors' movements and listening to the music.
Novelist Yun Ko Eun / Actors: Lee Jeong-hun, Kim So-young, Song Hye-rim (Guest appearance)
The play based on the author's short story "Aloha" commenced to the tunes of "Aloha Oe," the song that is Hawaii's cultural
symbol. The play kept the audience on tenterhooks as the story of the homeless Yun who dreams of revival and the reporter
Rina Jang who is fascinated by his “exploits” hovered between the past and present, and truth and falsehood. In the end, though
the lie is exposed and Hawaii is no longer a paradise for us, the ending makes us reflect once more on what Yun's dream really was.
The paper planes that the author and actors flew at the end seemed as if they would take us somewhere, just like the plane that
Yun boarded for Hawaii.
Novelist Oliverio Coelho (Argentina) / Choreography: Seo-jin / Dance – Tango Dancer TM /
Music – Lee Yun-kyung, Park Ha-rin
Oliverio Coelho read out excerpts from his short story, “Towards Extinction.” The excerpts perfectly summarized his story, helping
the audience to grasp the overall atmosphere and plot. The story of the couple who, influenced by a writer’s journal, become
affectionate, then depressed and isolated, and then become one again was reborn through the sensual movements of the tango
danced to the tunes of a bandoneon. Like the psychological state of the two protagonists that grew desperate as the story progressed,
the tango gradually became more intense and distressing. At the climax of the dance, the two dancers flung down their hands limply
as if welcoming death. The roaring applause and calls for an encore were only natural.