“Jaha Koo, who now lives between Belgium and the Netherlands, has created a work that captures his native culture astutely – the work is intrinsically Korean – but which also has a modern European style and sensitivity, and sits very well into the body of Flemish new theatre work that explores the possibilities of the performance-lecture. A week later, I’m still haunted by the show’s sounds and images. Food for thought indeed.” Totaltheatre.org.uk
A journey through the last 20 years of Korean history told by a bunch of talkative rice cookers.
One day when his electric rice cooker informed him that his meal was ready, Jaha Koo experienced a deep sense of isolation. ‘Golibmuwon’ (고립무원) is an untranslatable Korean word expressing the feeling of helpless isolation that characterizes the lives of many young people in Korea today.
Twenty years ago there was a major economic crisis in South-Korea, comparable to the financial crash in the United States and Southern Europe in 2008. This crisis had a huge impact on the young generation to which South Korean artist Jaha Koo belongs. He witnessed many endemic problems including youth unemployment and socio-economic inequality. Rising suicide rates, isolation, acute social withdrawal and a fixation on personal appearance are but a few of the symptoms.
In bittersweet and humorous dialogues, Jaha and his clever rice cookers take you on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history, combining personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness, economic crises and death.
IN KOREAN WITH ENGLISH/DUTCH SUBTITLES / 60 min.
IN THE CONTEXT OF SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT
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... the work is intrinsically Korean – but which also has a modern European style and sensitivity, and sits very well into the body of Flemish new theatre work that explores the possibilities of the performance-lecture. A week later, I’m still haunted by the show’s sounds and images.
In Cuckoo, Jaha Koo tries to capture how his young personal life is entangled with collective South-Korean history.
concept, direction, text, music & video Jaha Koo performance Hana, Duri, Seri & Jaha Koo cuckoo hacking Idella Craddock scenography & media operation Eunkyung Jeong dramaturgical advice Dries Douibi production Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek executive producer CAMPO coproduction Bâtard Festival support CAMPO, STUK, BUDA, DAS, SFAC & Noorderzon/Grand Theatre. Cuckoo was realized with the support of de Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie.