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Performance, Plenary Speaker
24 August 2023
13:00 - 14:15 hrs (GMT+7)

Seoul National University, College of Music, South Korea



Seoul National University (SNU)

Park Soobeom (Narrator/Actor (Role of "TAO"))

Jeong Jaeyeon (Haegeum)

Hong Jihyo (Percussion)

Kim Yeojin (Geomungo & Director)

and PGVIM Students

“TAO in CAGE” is a new form of work that brings together East and West, traditional and modern. It is a music drama, performance, exhibition, and video work that blends the 4'33" of John Cage, who sublimated all sound into art, the Music of Change, which embodies the principles of the universe (I Ching), and two works by the Chinese poet Tao Yuanming (陶淵明), who played the unstrung zither (無絃琴): “Guì qù lái cí” (Returning Home) and “Dohwawongi” Peach Blossom Spring).

The music drama <道TAO in CAGE> was a performance planned in 2011 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of John Cage's birth. The performance received a good response from many viewers who visited the performance. The audience was drawn into an immersive experience through a combination of narrations and performances on site that created various meanings through a variety of materials that seemed to be completely opposite.

The 2012 performance, which was carried out at the invitation of the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany, focused on the experimentality of this work. This performance was a joint project of Korean and German artists, and brought the work to Europe while maintaining the overall framework of the project. It resonated with audiences once again, this time internationally.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the performing arts industry. It changed the way in which artists created media content and the performing arts, not only in Korea but around the world. Against this backdrop, the music drama <道TAO in CAGE> was reborn as a complex art that blended sensitive Korean traditional music and video art and was presented once again.

The cultural complex showcase <taO in CAGE, 4'33"> was a showcase that was supported by the Future Basic Science Field Infrastructure Development Project in 2021. The multi-sensory video that fills the exhibition space of <taO in CAGE, 4'33"> was projected from various angles and positions, and the curves of the walls and objects were fully captured. The sound, which was arranged in different densities and textures in each position, was composed into a three-dimensional production that conveys a sense of space. The exhibition hall was transformed through projections into a multidimensional space where East and West, past, present, and future intersected and scattered in multiple directions. The showcase performance was an interpretation of John Cage’s questions of 'sensation' and 'cognition,' originally presented by his aleatory music. These questions are a point of commonality between Tao Yuanming and John Cage.

<TAO in CAGE> is a participatory work. The artist and the person who enjoys it should not be separated. Edition 2023 will be held at PGVIM. This work started in Korea, but it has developed with the participation of artists in Thailand, and the audience will complete it on-site.

In the past, the East has tried to follow the culture of the West. Today, however, the competitiveness of the East, and of Korea, is high enough to lead. We need not follow the cultural arts of any other country, but instead advance together. For this to happen, cooperation is essential. <TAO in CAGE> is an experiment in cooperation through art. East and West, future and past and present, and genre experiments all come together in this performance piece. Exhibitions that are not exhibitions, performances that are not performances, and videos that are not videos. Let's talk about 'nothingness' at the boundary.



Transforming Open Form: TAO in CAGE Edition 2023

Kim Yeojin

Seoul National University

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