Yi Sang in Seoul: Rebirth

au!guts 22, 2010.

The Korean part of the Yi Sang project co-produced by La Générale in Paris and Lab 201 in Seoul took place from Thursday August 5th until Saturday August 21st, in the Space Hamilton, 용산구 한남동 683-142 Hannam-dong, in the Yongsan-gu or 'Dragon Hill' district, to the North of the Han River.


As you can imagine, I would have liked very much to fly over to Seoul for the occasion. I could and did not. But I have been following the events 'through the eyes of the others', which is a curiously interesting way of being a tourist. I will share some of it here in this entry, and thankfully make use of some of the pictures that Rébus sent me and some of the uTube clips that he made (all available at the SeoulParis channel), as well as of a series of fine photographs made by Gitte Zschoch (taken from her Yi Sang Rebirth Flickr album).

To start, let's enter Seoul by following Rébus on his bicycle... (It is possible of course to mix the two clips, by playing them back simultaneously.)

"I imagined that I would come upon a tough and rough town; hard, serious and modern, sort of an urban and electronic hell," Rébus wrote. "And sure, there are the crowded and hectic parts, streets crowded with stinking and noisy cars. Certainly. But I also found a very human city, alive, messy and anarchistic. The typical architectural object seems to be the road bridges, made out of rough concrete. Which does have a certain poetry, actually. [...] The picture of the sky with all these cables running summarizes well how things are over here. The whole town is cabled in that way..."

seoul seoul
seoul seoul

The program for Yi Sang Rebirth in the Space Hamilton mirrored the Parisian one: there was the vernissage, there were evenings with concerts and performances, there was a culinary event (a 'Poulpe Party'), there was a finissage. And, like in Paris, there was the literary evening, pictured from outside the Space Hamilton in the following photograph of Gitte Zschoch.

literary evening

You will see that same Space Hamilton at day time, at the beginning of Rébus' clip of the 'Octopus Party', on Thursday August 18th. The culinary 'Pouple Party' was the Seoul counterpart of the Parisian Poet's Banquet. As you will gather from the clip, the 'Poulpe Party' was pretty spectacular. Which made it even more of a pleasure of being able to contribute some live entertainment for that evening, by streaming a short live performance to the Space Hamilton (literally) from my bedroom...

"Who was the first one to eat octopus?" Yi Sang asks in the opening verse of his poem Tsukihara Tojiro. He then goes on to say that whoever it was, she must have been really hungry...
In "IIIIIInktvis" I actually give the poulpe & chocolate eaters an answer to Yi Sang's question: the first one to eat octopus was a pale woman with red hair, a strong taste for chocolate hard as stone and a gramophone for a suitcase. I deduced the answer of course from other Yi Sang poems, that gave me the necessary inspiration for the pulp performance that you find summarized in the following clip.

I am very happy that, even though I could not be there myself, 'Read me a poem, Yi Sang!' (my Yi Sang in a box (in a box (in a box))) was part of the Yi Sang Rebirth expo at the Space Hamilton. As you may recall, or reread in the Yi Sang à Paris RMAPYS entry, RMAPYS is a work in which I ask visitors (of the exposition and of this site) to participate. It will be finished only when the original sound file is divided among the N contributors of a small picture, drawing, text..., inspired by their visit(s) and/or by Yi Sang. I will use all that I receive for the making of a visual 'translation' of the audio piece, which will take the form of a web page at yisang.soundblog.net.

Δ Send your contribution to readmeapoemyisang[at]gmail[dot]com ... Δ

Gitte Zschoch made the following picture of the unhearable golden Yi Sang cassette at the opening night on August 5th.

read me seoul


I do not know whether meanwhile Rébus, during his wanderings through the streets of Seoul, has spotted bits of cast-away tape. If he did, I sure hope he has picked them up and will bring them for me. For these I will gladly add to my Found Tapes collection. I suspect though that also in Seoul only very few will still be using cassettes in their 'day-to-day' music consumption. But some of course do. "One can still get new pre-recorded cassettes on the market. But it seems to be but old timers that buy them," Rébus wrote. In the following two clips there's both the cassettes on the market, and his short reportage hunting for a dictaphone...

It's all over already now, though. Today it is Sunday, August 22nd. To end (als uitsmijter), here are some more pictures taken by Gitte Zschoch.

yisang rebirth yisang rebirth
yisang rebirth yisang rebirth
yisang rebirth yisang rebirth


The Yi Sang Rebirth finissage was yesterday.

There will be a uTube finissage clip soon.

Long live Yi Sang!


Read about Yi Sang (이상) on the SoundBlog:

(2010, august 22) - Yi Sang 이상 in Seoul: Rebirth
(2010, august 14) - "And what about Yi Sang?" (이상 à Paris [iv])
(2010, june 29) - Ceremonies (Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [iii])
(2010, june 25) - Read me a poem, Yi Sang! (Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [ii])
(2010, june 13) - Yi Sang 이상 à Paris [i]

More Yi Sang 이상: Read me a poem, Yi Sang!

tags: Yi Sang, Seoul

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