project image
Kang Cheol

first performed on August 11, 2019
518 Democracy Square Gwangju (South Korea), within the context of GlobalArtTogether—Face to Face, Edition twice | Psychologic Games, Gwangju, Korea
performed once in 2019


Lincoln, UK


A live performance consisting of seven actions rooted in the urgent call for social transformation in both personal and collective level. This was performed on 518 Democracy Square’s pavement marked by histories of resistance and resilience; the same square where May 18th Gwangju’s Uprising (1980) was triggered by student demonstrations in defiance of the new military edict closing the universities and stifling political dissent. The Gwangju massacre of 200 people became an important landmark in the struggle for South Korean democracy. Just a reminder of the deep need to keep uprising against militarism, fascism, and oppression.

Action 1: In-stability

Attempting to balance on a small black cube. I extend my hand to be reached by someone. To find equilibrium at the shoulder of the other can be enough.

Action 2: Fear-less

Writing on rice paper the word “fear,” whilst using the body of the other as shelter from the rain. Swallowing the paper slowly.

Action 3: Shame-less

Taking out of my mouth a steel sponge. After pulling it apart I use it to scrape my chest.

Action 4: Pain

18 red roses on my arms. I remove the petals and I offer the stems to others. I crush the petals, I squeeze until their juice comes out. Using a syringe, I spill out the liquid onto the cavity of my neck and throat.

Action 5: Fr-agility

I wrap my waist tight with a white and red tape on which is written the word: FRAGILE.

Action 6: Dissent

A green apple and a charcoal stick. I bite once the apple and with the rest off it I smash the charcoal on the pavement before stepping on it.

Action 7: Catharsis

I raise my arms. I dance.

The actions finish. It still rains and someone from the audience helps me to cut the tape from my waist.

I can breathe deeply again.