London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The art of Daechuri

Many thanks to David Kilburn for pointing out a video project by Bum Lee, animation artist and illustrator. It’s a short film that he shot at Daechuri, a farming village which is to be evacuated to make way for the expanded US base at Pyongtaek.

David’s take:

I found it creative both in film making and social commentary, and revealing in how the farmers use folk art and events to promote their cause.

And Bum Lee’s statement:

I visited Daechuri on Saturday March 3. Behind the perimeter of fences guarded by police, many of the homes had been demolished and the unharvested fields were trenched off with barbed wire. But there was art everywhere amidst the ruin — murals, sculptures, junk art, and a gallery filled with paintings. The villagers held their nightly candlelight vigil in a hall surrounded by painted portraits, and in the evening they sang songs around a bonfire.

This video is a tribute to the art of Daechuri.

The video can be found here, here or here. The first of the links works best for me. Here’s the YouTube:

Ruediger Frank at the Korean Studies portal has the following interesting observations:

What I would rather like to highlight is a technical issue of coding. If you take your time to compare the Korean lyrics with the English subtitles, you find some interesting, subtle deviations. The song reminded me of my time at the Kodae campus, where similar ones were sung on Mayday etc. to demonstrate the student’s solidarity with the working class. Interestingly, the English translation seems to carefully avoid using Marxist terminology. Jabonga (capitalist or bourgeois) is simply “rich”, nongmin haebang (peasant’s liberation) is translated as “justice and dignity for all farmers” (and so is nodong haebang, worker’s liberation), i sesang juindeuri ireona (owners of this world, rise) reads “the powerless shall rise”, and “saengsaneui gibbeum” (the joy of production) is translated as “the joy of harvest”. At one point the translation goes further as the original, when yangju is translated as “American wine”. A very good idea, in my opinion, is the translation of bureun giwajib (house with blue roof tiles) simply as “capital”, at least in the given context; Blue House might have left non-Korean listeners clueless.

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