Festival Postscript 7: Book Readings and Performances (25 September)
Lee Jenny / Guitar – Heo Nam Jun (Painter)
Poet Lee Jenny and painter Heo Nam-jun were seated side by side with guitars in hand at the start of the book reading. Lee Jenny
recited three of her poems: “Chinese Bird,” “Weary and Wave” and “The Round Bone of a Hunchback.” The poet’s voice bestowed her
poems, whose rhythm outshone, with crisp tune and melody. Next, the poet sang, “The Round Bone of a Hunchback” and “Weary and
Wave,” poems she herself had adapted into songs. Black and white photographs on the theme of “My Wave” taken by painter Heo Nam-jun
appeared one after the other on the white wall beside her. It was a blissful time as the beautiful notes of their guitar and poet Lee Jenny’s
transparent voice filled Gallery Namu.
Akiko Fujiwara (Japan)
Akiko Fujiwara, wearing a snow-white blouse over a skirt with a pattern of red flowers, recited her poems, “Iwo,” “Candy Competence” and
“Pho to n (2).” Her partner, poet Lee Jenny supported her with the melodies of her guitar. Akiko Fujiwara’s recitation felt as if she were reciting the spaces between the words, the lines, and the stanzas of her poems. By regulating her breath, she brought alive the lingering imagery and tension in her poetry. After the recitation, a video recording of a performance based on her work that was held in Japan this summer and which featured a pianist and a dancer was screened. It was an experimental performance that was in exquisite harmony with the poet’s literary world with letters bouncing off pages and poetry transforming into melody and movement.
Kim Tae Yong / Play - Lee Ha-rim, Lee Nan-hyeong
Standing in the middle of the stage, author Kim Tae Yong read out the first line of his short story, “The Night is Mysterious, and the
More You Walk in the Night, the More Melancholic It Becomes”—“Still believing in the mystery and melancholy of the night, I walked out
disguised as a woman.” Just when the author reached the part of the protagonist’s monologue, a cross-dressed man suddenly slipped
out from among the audience. Like a song, like a chant the writer and the actor’s murmur of “breastcottonbollbreastcottonball” overlapped
each other, turning the atmosphere mysterious. A cross-dressed woman suddenly made an appearance, almost as if threatening the
cross-dressed man. As the two wandered about the gallery, their steps seemed to be like movements in a dream that had escaped
gravity just like the narrative of the story that had lost its sense of time. When the play that brought to life the theatrical elements of the
story came to a close, the writer and the actors who put up a spirited performance were greeted with enthusiastic applause.
Susan Choi / Dance - Park Ho-bin, Ccadoo Dance Theater
Author Susan Choi read out the portion of her novel, My Education, where signs of crisis and conflicts start appearing gradually in the
female protagonist Regina’s relationship with her lover Martha. The author tried to keep her voice unemotional, but regret and mourning
seeped out nonetheless. After the reading got over, dancer Park Ho-bin took the stage. He started moving his body slowly to the plaintive
music. The dance started with slight movements and then became more vigorous; as if the dancer’s body were brushing against the limits
it wanted to overcome but could not. The movements seemed to reflect Regina’s sense of sadness and frustration about the age difference
of twelve years, the dwindling of love with the passage of time and the future which she could not keep drawing in pink shades forever.