60 minutes, no intermission
In Korean with English and German surtitles
+++ Performance cancelled +++
Celebrating the centenary of Korean theatre in 2008, the South Korean theatre maker and composer Jaha Koo realised that there is actually no space for Korean theatre tradition: what is regarded as Korean theatre is largely determined by the Western canon. But why are the South Koreans so proud of this Western interpretation? And why does everyone keep referring to Shakespeare? It raises questions about tradition, self-censorship and authenticity.
In this final piece of his Hamartia trilogy, Jaha Koo resolutely focuses on the future. Meticulously, he exposes the tragic impact of the past on our lives, unveiling the small cracks in modern Confucianism – an ideology that continues to define the moral system, way of life and social relations between generations in South Korea. With a new generation of South Koreans in mind, he attempts to break with a tradition full of self-censorship and keeping up appearances. Because only when based on an authentic version of history, he can pass on a future to the next generation.
Like the performances Lolling & Rolling and Cuckoo, which respectively focused on South Korea’s past and present, The History of Korean Western Theatre is an intelligent documentary theatre performance in which Jaha Koo interweaves personal stories with historical, political and sociological facts. Often themes that contain a clash of Eastern and Western culture: from cutting string of tongue to make it in the West, to the heavy personal toll of Western interference on a macroeconomic level.
born in 1984, is a South Korean theatre/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues and zooming in on themes that embody a clash of Eastern and Western culture.
Jaha Koo has been living and working in Belgium for the past few years. The History of Korean Western Theatre is his first production created at the Ghent-based and internationally touring arts centre CAMPO.