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Korea seen from the eye of Korean diaspora

Posted June. 06, 2017 06:59,   

Updated June. 06, 2017 07:03

Korea Diaspora Season that performs play works of five playwriters who are actively engaged in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and other countries will be held in the Baek Seonghui & Jang Minho Theater and the Theater Pan of National Theater Company of Korea in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. The word diaspora refers to a group of people who live outside their homeland.


The play titled "Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven" is the play work of Young Jean Lee, who is acclaimed in the U.S. The play experimentally deals with the identity of Asians and Asian-Americans. Actors and actress pour out comments of racial discrimination and intentionally make the audience uneasy, and raise a provocative question.

"This Isn’t Romance" describes the perilous relationship between a brother and a sister who encounter each other after they parted is amplified by adoption, farewell and guilt, luring the audience into a fine tension. Playwriter In-Sook Chappell was adopted to the U.K. when she was 2. In a press conference, she said, “The play depicts a process of brother and sister who are drawn by each other as they discover their faces reside in them. I partially reflected my experience as an adopted child. However, I couldn’t meet my birth parents unlike Miso, the main female character who meets her brother in the play.”

Julia Cho’s "Aubergine" is a story of a second-generation Korean American who cannot communicate well with her father due to their differences in character and values and it is depicted with humor and a sorrowful note.

"You For Me For You" written by Mia Chung who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of two is a strange and mysterious tale of the sisters—Min-hee and Jun-hee—who tried to escape the North. The younger sister Junhee arrives in New York but elder sister Minhee falls into a well and the story unfolds both in New York and North Korea.

"Kim’s Convenience" written by Ins Choi, which has been widely popular in Canada as both play and sitcom, has finally arrived in Korea. It is the autobiographical story of a first-generation immigrant to Canada and convenience store owner Choi. The story of store owner Mr. Kim and his family such as identity crisis, generational conflict, concerns and reconciliation is comically depicted.

“I hope that these play works could serve as an opportunity to increase our prospect on identity that we didn’t know yet.” said Kim Yun-cheol, artistic director of the National Theater Company of Korea.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com