‘When a line becomes a circle’ with subtitle

The performance video ‘when a line becomes a circle’ was performed at Baengnyeongdo island, one of South Korean islands closest to North Korea. The performance is based on conversations the artist had with islanders at Baengnyeongdo. The islanders recalled that…

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The performance video ‘when a line becomes a circle’ was performed at Baengnyeongdo island, one of South Korean islands closest to North Korea. The performance is based on conversations the artist had with islanders at Baengnyeongdo. The islanders recalled that the affect on their island after North Korea’s threat was similar to affect the earthquake had on Japan and the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Performed at a political site, the work contemplates the idea of ‘borders’, from a political realm to ontological level, and then to pure geometrical form, as the work proceeds through sensorial experience of visibility and sound.
The performance video consists of 3 actions around the pole in the middle, as a symbol of ‘being’. First, the artist draws lines resembling the border between North Korea and South Korea; then in the 2nd act, circles are drawn resembling the danger zone around the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The last action shows the artist drawing one big circle which goes out of the frame, so that only line is seen within the frame. But the sound of drawing the line can be continuously heard, so it is left up to the viewers whether lines are actually drawing the circle or not. The line can be read as division and the circle can be interpreted as reunification, vice versa in Fukushima’s case. The final scene shows the artist leaving the stick next to the pole, which resembles the ‘rén rén shì’ charcater symbolizing ‘human beings’. In the Chinese character set the ‘rén rén shì’ charcater symbolizes 2 human figures supporting each other as a definition of ‘human being’.

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