Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chungju International Performance Art Festival, Korea

On Wednesday, September 12, I travelled to Chungju City to take part in the Chungju International Performance Art Festival.

The venue was a traditional old Korean building and there were many schoolchildren in attendance as there was also an art competition for the students to paint or draw the performance artists.

My performance was 'The Beauty Myth', which I had previously performed in 2005 at the Seoul Experimental Art Festival. This performance shows an image of a woman passively waiting to be rewarded for conforming to society's ideal of beauty.

Her style combines elements from classical sculpture of female form, the traditional white wedding dress and modern fashion magazine ideals of beauty.

She is watched by a man who gives her gifts of balloons, which she blows up but which burst or fly away. In this way the artist is questioning the real value of rewards received by women for conforming to the ideals of the “Beauty Myth”.

Finally, the woman chooses to emerge from her restrictive costume, and the performance of 'The Beauty Myth' is over.

After the performance the schoolchildren pulled out their sketchpads and paints.

There were hundreds of children painting or drawing their favorite performance artists for the art competition.You can watch a short video of the children painting here:

The "lady in the white dress" was a popular subject!