Park Hye-Ok (Cheonji Daily Newspaper Reporter)
The message the author and actors wanted to convey through the play ‘Future Story’ was intense. The prejudice that the actors appearing on the stage are from multicultural backgrounds disappears and you are only immersed in their gestures and voices.
The message they gave through each gesture and sound was amazing. After the play, there was a change in the way I thought about migrants. It means that the perception that the migrant actors I see now are artists and that Korea should accept them with an open mind.
I met Park Kyong Ju, CEO of Korea’s first multicultural theater company, Salad, who wrote and directed the script for the play ‘Future Story’ to hear her thoughts on multiculturalism.
According to CEO Park, there were quite a few twists and turns before the theater company called ‘Salad’ was born. It started as an internet medium called ‘migrant worker broadcasting station’ in 2005 and is in the process of changing to a SaladTV broadcasting station in 2009, it was a multicultural theater company that was created after thinking about an item. Of course, the big frame is the SaladTV There is a ‘salad’ troupe in that.
After majoring in fine arts at Hong-Ik University, CEO Park left for Germany in 1993 to study film. It is not an exaggeration to say that the cultural shock Park received while studying in Germany became an opportunity to become what she is today. It is said that at the time she went to study abroad, Germany was in a period of cultural and social chaos as it had just been unified. It was said that there were not a few cases of multicultural people being killed or assaulted.
She said that she fell into the agony of ‘who am I’ while completing her master’s degree in the chaos of unified Germany. After thinking about it, she concluded that ‘I am a yellow race’ and came to think ‘Wouldn’t I have to live as a yellow race artist even if I live as an artist’. For her, the experience of 8 years in Germany was a great shock in her life, and it became a turning point in her life.
She said that when she returned to Korea and met strangers, she began to think about how she could help them as her experiences in Germany overlapped. As she became interested in welfare and culture, she came to this position. And she chose ‘play’ as a way to help multicultural families and strangers.
It wouldn’t be easy to be in the same boat for such a long time in the same space with people from multicultural backgrounds… I asked CEO Park what was difficult.
In response, CEO Park said, “At first, the most upsetting thing was that a member who I thought was talented and taught well was leaving. I know that I can’t help it because of the member’s family affairs, but I was still very upset.”
At the same time, “It makes me proud to see the members becoming artists. The proudest thing is that our group is creaking, but in the end, it rolls together. It is unavoidable for any organization to creak,” she said.
She continued, “The members practice on their own, and in the case of invitation performances, they go on-site independently with a set schedule. I am only responsible for intermediate checks and production, and I let the members do the performances themselves. I think I put in a lot of effort to get to this point.”
CEO Park says that the multicultural theater company ‘Salad’ was able to grow quickly thanks to active publicity and an existing network. Her expression is bright when she says that more organizations invite the multicultural theater troupe Salad.
Currently, the multicultural theater company ‘Salad’ is putting on stage two of the unrespected death series called ‘Future Story’ and ‘Marina and Vijay’. CEO Park said that she wants their precious content to meet more audiences.
Suddenly, I was curious about CEO Park’s wishes.
In response, she said, “Basically, it is a migrant troupe. Currently, I think it is important that they work as artists and put more weight on their presence on stage. It’s not easy to live as an artist in Korea. The unit price for invitational performances is also cheap. I think people who want to maintain their lives as artists stand on stage and tell their stories, so I think we should have respect for them,” he said. “I think we need a more open gaze toward multicultural people.”
Park also expressed her regret about the reality of the Korean art world.
“It was only when immigrants arrived that art was able to develop in the United States. It blossomed in a place where immigrants fell into mannerism. They looked at society with different senses and with different eyes. So is Europe. But Korea is closed in that respect. In this context, the multicultural theater company ‘Salad’ would like to raise issues as well as propose policies. The Korean art world needs to change a lot. I hope that the members of our troupe will become a foundational stepping stone to change that and change the art world.”
Lastly, CEO Park said, “We have the power we have. The audience is proving it. In that respect, I think there is the power of change.”
ⒸCheonji Daily, 2012
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