Balloon and Needle: The New Korean Avant Garde

Balloon and Needle: The New Korean Avant Garde starts a three day residency at Cafe OTO this Thursday:

Balloon & Needle

THURSDAY 20th, FRIDAY 21st, SATURDAY 22nd January 2011
Cafe OTO | 18-22 Ashwin St | Dalston | London | E8 3DL [Map]

Choi Joonyong (cracked CD players)
Hong Chulki (turntables)
Ryu Hankil (self‐made electro‐acoustic instruments)
Jin Sangtae (cracked hard‐drive)
Lee Hangjun (16mm film projection)

Through live performance, screenings and workshops, this three day residency explores the unique sonic and visual world of a group of young South Korean artists and noise makers appearing in the UK for the first time. Within Seoul’s tiny experimental underground, this tight‐knit collective has developed a sound, style and approach to creativity outside the influences of their Japanese and European kin, conjuring a distinct vocabulary that reflects the collective spirit of a new South Korean avant‐garde.

Formerly known as the collective ‘RELAY’ (2005‐2008), the group’s use of “cracked everyday electronics” within a collaborative improvisational context, combined with their subversion of degraded and redundant found objects, produces a sound that is simultaneously chaotic, corrosive, confusing and compelling. Working with multiple 16mm film projections, filmmaker Lee Hangjun’s focus is on celluloid’s materiality: deteriorated and chemically treated archive footage.

Over the last few years, the collective has focused on artistic exchange and network‐building through international collaborations, including Mattin, Günter Müller, Jason Kahn and Otomo Yoshihide. Their work is primarily published and distributed through the ‘Balloon & Needle’ and ‘Manual’ imprints.

“The representatives of an open‐minded aural diplomacy that tends to leave exasperation aside in favour of an almost total sonic acceptability” Massimo Ricci

Door Times: 8pm
Workshop starts 5.30pm


Day 1 – Film screenings £5
Day 1 – Workshop £10 + FREE entry to screenings (advance booking only)

Day 2 – Performances £8 adv / £10 door

Day 3 – Performances £8 adv / £10 door

Produced by: Hong Chulki with support from LIG Arts Foundation


On Thursday January 20th will join the Balloon and Needle collective at Cafe Oto to lead a workshop reflecting on how the artists have used the tools at their disposal, from invented and appropriated instrumentation (turntables and DIY electronics), the adaptation of newer technologies such as hard drives and CD players, expanded cinema and film projection, through to the use of experimental 16mm printing and processing techniques at Space Cell, an artist run project space in South Korea.

Balloon and Needle

The workshop will also focus on the nature of this form of collaborative work and practice, through a brief overview of expanded and performative modes of cinema, as well as the dialogues between film makers and improvisers within the Balloon and Needle collective.

For more information please contact

Workshop tickets are £10 and include FREE entry to screenings (advance booking only)


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