Now in its 6th consecutive year running, Festival Bo:m is a four-week (3/22-4/18) international event featuring artists of every discipline from around the world. As Korea’s leading festival in contemporary art, the event aims to bring innovative, avant-garde Korean and international art to Seoul, with a focus on discovering new artists. Experimentation and challenge are at the epicenter of Festival Bo:m, and this past weekend I was lucky to catch a thought-provoking performance piece at the NTCK (National Theater Company of Korea).
This weekend I saw “Show Real Drama,” featuring Fabian Stumm and Susie Myer, written by Keren Cytter, all from Salzburg. What I love about performance art is that every audience member is experiencing the same performance in the same moment in very different ways, and it’s totally unique to that moment in time. This idea is especially true when two different languages and varying levels of English comprehension are involved. The performance included video and live acting together, depicting the same story three times, through the lenses of “Show” “Real” and “Drama.” By splicing up the storytelling method, the artists were able to deliver a clear message in a non-linear way, about two people trying to succeed as professional actors. The actors spoke in English, with some translated texts in Korean projected in the background, but it’s art anyway, our universal language. (For my New York friends, you can catch the same performance at The Kitchen in Chelsea from May 5-6, for FREE!)
(Photos courtesy of Fabian Stumm)
A diverse lineup awaits you, with acts ranging from a German, girls-only ensemble known as “She She Pop,” (who I’m seeing Saturday, 4/7) to politically-charged filmmaker Omar Abu Saaba, to Korean curator Seewon Hyun. There is a bevy of unique, fascinating performance art, film, and visual exhibition to choose from, with 22 artists partaking in this year’s festival. Visit the Festival Bo:m website for schedule information (in English! Yay!) and artist biographies. Ticket prices range from free to 40,000 won, with many student-discount options as well.