Semi Ryu: Hungboga

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Creation Year:






Artist Statement:

    1. BINARY
    Binary is a principle of separation by two and this separation already carries process of unification. Each binary opposition penetrated into the other side through membrane between them and transformed into their opponent. Becoming through interpenetration….Here & There, You & Me, East & West, Good & Bad, Reality & Virtuality, and Performer & Audience.

    I recognize numerous “interactive sounds” in Korean traditional performances: “Eolssigu!”, “Ulssu!”, “Eoi”, “Jouta” … we call it “Chuimsae”, which reflects Korean life philosophy from ancient times. These words do not have clear meanings, but instead, act in the confirming of existence: You & Me. It blows energy into the performer and simultaneously, substantiates the performer, like our act witnessed in front of mirror. We confirm our existence from our opposition.

    I feel some transcendence of language and social boundary in “Chuimsae”. It is not “yes” or “no”. It is instinctive reflection towards the other self, arising from our sub-consciousness. It shows our desire for interaction. Interaction is a unique pathway to become one thing through our binary opposition. Paradoxically, binary systems exist to erase themselves, with tremendous potentiality for transformation and metamorphosis, rather than immovable separation.

    In English, I also observe similar kinds of interactive sounds such as “U-hm!” In fact, these sounds exist in every language in different forms. I call them “Chuimsae”, quoting from Korean traditional terminology. However, people are hardly aware of “Chuimsae” in their usage, since it is so natural, like the air surrounding them.

    3. HYBRID
    I have recounted to many Americans the traditional Korean story, “Hungboga.” I tell them this story while carrying a Korean traditional fan. As they listen, they interact with me, using lots of “Chuimsae.” When the story is complete, I ask my interviewers to re-tell it back to me by memory. My audience becomes the performer, using a Korean traditional fan. My audience and I exchange roles and the story is moved, changed, evolved and distorted. Therefore, it is kept alive.

    This work is about the whole process of interpretation and hybridization, between every binary pair: Here & There, You & Me, East & West, Good & Bad, and Performer & Audience. This process blurs the distinction line between these dichotomies and allows them to become one element with its own potential energy of movements. Shamanic relationships are created between the audience and the animation on the screen, through continuous interaction by “Chuimsae.”

Technical Information:

    Hardware: Compaq workstation SP 750, Del precision 420,
    Macintosh G3

    Software: Maya 3.0 unlimited, Adobe Premiere, Adobe
    Photoshop, Protools

    Images and sounds produced by Semi Ryu, 16 March, 2001

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    Carnegie Mellon University