Offering, Seven Boats

In this act, performed along the banks of the Imjin River in South Korea in 2015, I provide an offering that gestures to the relationship between the living and the dead in contemporary society. By providing seven paper boats to the Imjin River, I remember and evoke the names of children who died in North Korea in the aftermath of division as well as those who passed away from the famines of the late 1990s. Trusting in the invisible forces residing in water and nature, I draw from Jeju shamanic uses of paper ornaments, or Gime, to call upon those who have passed. In the past, Jeju shamans used Gime to grieve for fishermen who disappeared along the coast in their attempts to feed their families and communities. I learned Gime from Seongsil Seo, a respected shaman from Jeju Island.

Related Posts

The Decolonial AestheSis Dossier In this dossier we look at the geopolitics of sensing, knowing and believing that have been at play in the variegated versions of the project decolonial aestheSis. The participants are intellectuals, curators and artist and many of them all at once. They were invited explore decolonial aestheSis thr...
Decolonial Aesthesis: From Singapore, To Cambridge, To Duke University I always ask my students, grad and undergraduate, for the mid-term "exam", to write a letter to whomever they wish. It should be an educated person who is a little bit familiar with the topic, or not necessarily. The question is to explain "in your own words" (and not to hide behind textual comm...
Unmaking Borders to Demilitarize Peace: A Zainichi Korean Experience By the end of Japan’s colonization of Korea (1910-45), over two million Koreans lived in Japan. My grandfather, for instance, came to Japan as a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army. (I don’t know when.) Others had come to supply the wartime labor shortages in mining and construction. The majority ...
Introduction "Reflections on Disruptive Film" collects texts that articulate, meditate on, or respond to the short films included in Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power, curated by Ernest Larsen and Sherry Millner. This is the first of three two-disc sets that aim to recover the history of short-form r...

Soni Kum

Soni Kum is an interdisciplinary artist who was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan as a third generation Korean. She grew up in North Korean Community in Japan and obtained South Korean citizenship in 2006. She works in a variety of mediums including film and video, installation, performance, writing, photography, drawing, and dance. Soni Kum received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in the United States in 2005 and a doctorate in fine arts from Tokyo University of Arts in 2011.