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Space of Poetry

2021 Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture Selection <Space of Poetry>
/ Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater
(10 August)
  • 회색 유튜브 아이콘
현장사진 (3).jpg

Space of

A-Leum LEE's Jeong-ga

        An artistic act with meaning and message is the thinking and inspiration of artists coexisting in the present era. When it is expressed, civilization progresses. Outsiders are always on the side of the road that the majority follow. When a group of the many who follows reaches out to them, the community thrives. It’s as if the peony blossom, which had been neglected due to a lack of scent in a garden full of chrysanthemums, eventually bloomed and became a glorious lawn with distinctive features.

        ‘JeongGa,’ a fine art, refers to ‘GaGok,’ ‘GaSa,’ and ‘SiJo,’ traditional Korean vocal music. Among them, GaGok and GaSa are vulnerable to transmission. It means that there is no one to learn and look for because it is an unpopular genre. If you think of it differently, it is equivalent to saying that no one studies and seeks yet. It also implies that there are abundant opportunities for experimentation and transformation. 

        JeongGa, which has its own characteristics, should pay particular attention to its slowness and conciseness. The music has aesthetics of slow, but the text is a verse with a fixed form, immaculate without any extraneous words. If you only look at JeongGa from a textbook perspective, it can be confined to music accompanied by orchestral accompaniment or melodic and percussive instruments. However, suppose we expand the concept of musical instruments and reconsider in terms of historical background, environment, the texture of sound, and text. In that case, we can look at the connection between JeongGa and modernity, which has been rooted for several centuries. Taking this into consideration, the work to be unraveled with sound is the core of this project.


        2021. 8. 10

        A-Leum Lee, a Master of GaGok


1. SanChon-e Bam-i Deuni

2. CheongSanDo JeolloJeollo

3. Sib-i NanGan ByeogOkDae

4. Space of Poetry

5. Dal-eun BanMan

6. Momentary

7. BeoDeul-eun Sil-i Doego

8. PyeongLong 2020

*This performance was produced with the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.























              From old times, a poem of unknown authorship was transmitted to Ga-Gok, PyeongNong.


           “I send the Big Dipper, one two three four five six seven starts, a piece of paper with a hesitant request written on it.

          I met my lover, whom I longed for, but morning is coming.

         I wish that there will be no morning stars by building a bridge with the three stars (the three stars corresponding to the soles of the constellation, the Big Dipper: they protect Jami-star in the East, closely related to shamanism) only tonight.”


              There are several stories about the above poem. For instance, it includes the plea of a woman who made a wish to the Big Dipper by building the Chilsung Dan (Altar of Seven Stars) and aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, and shamanism of the Chilsung belief, taking the tomb murals of Goguryeo Samhan Dynasty, Korea, as an example. In addition, there is the Big Dipper, which means Princess Bari’s seven sons who ascended to the sky and became the Seven Stars. On the mural tombs of the Goguryeo Dynasty, the Big Dipper and the Sagittarius are painted. It is said that as two representative stars, the Big Dipper symbolizes death and the North, and the Sagittarius means life.

               Furthermore, in < Sanchngkyeong, Yanghee (late Eastern Jin Dynasty, China, 331- 386)>, “Namdu Yuksa is a department in charge of extending the human lifespan, and it refers to Namdu yukgung.” In , a publication that the Chinese historian Ganbo of the fourth century of Eastern Jin Dynasty compiled, the Sagittarius is responsible for birth, and the Big Dipper is in charge of death.” Interestingly, if looking at the ‘Sculpture of a Couple,’ a relic that corresponds to the lid of a coffin from the Silla Dynasty, Korea, there are disks of the sun and moon above the heads of a couple lying side by side and next to them are the Big Dipper and the Sagittarius. It implies that even in the Silla Dynasty, a horoscope concept of North and South governed life and death. In this context, I imagined the song of the Big Dipper, a story of watching a chief priest on the brink of death, recalling the sad scene of sending a tiding to the universe to delay death from the top of Cheomseongdae (Observatory) in Shilla Dynasty located in Gyeongju, Korea.

               In this way, a letter develops differently depending on the direction it is meant. The author’s emotions, time, and space can be imagined in the poems handed down to Jung-Ga. Even if the author is unknown, the atmosphere contained in poetry can be felt through music, transcending time and space.







        This performance is a music project that expresses and reflects poetry in terms of sound design away from harmonics as part of unraveling the time and space of one’s own poetry with Jeong-Ga arts by a Ga-Gok Master who collaborates with Hang and performers using an electronic program that represents the modern era.

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