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DOOSAN Yonkang FoundationCEO Myeongho Jang
DOOSAN ART CENTER is operated by DOOSAN Yonkang Foundation
2018 A Wife’s Sensitivity
2017 The Visitors
Lim YoungJun Hamlet
2016 King of Square
2015 The House of Bernarda Alba
Selecting the winner for this year’s DOOSAN Artist Award was not an easy task. It’s true that there has been a recent increase in performances by young artists and directors under age 40, but regardless of the maturity of their work, it’s been rare finding those in the theatre world who raise our expectations enough to make us want to keep on observing their works in the future. There were also many people in the theatre world who showed outstanding work up until even just a few years ago, but hasn’t produced much work recently. This was worrisome on one hand, because it demonstrates that it goes beyond the mere personal problem of the artist but has more to do with the realities of the theater world in Korea where it’s extremely difficult for artists to perpetuate their practice.
Although the candidate group was not satisfactory, it wasn’t a challenge selecting Jeong Kim as the winner of DOOSAN Artist Award in 2018. He has the power to reinvent the text theatrically through detailed analysis and creative interpretation, from classic productions to translated plays and works by Korean playwrights. In the process of building up the stage, Kim brings out the inherent characteristics in each of the individual actors and actresses as much as possible and bases the characters and events of the play on this. He does this instead of focusing primarily on the play and forcing the actors and actresses to fit the play. This way, Kim's play does not lean to either side of the two axis of reproduction and existence; rather, it traverses both sides with a sense of tension and generates a unique and dynamic rhythm. Not only the actors' performance but other mediums such as sound and light contribute a great deal to creating such rhythm. The unique yet just the right arrangement of music and light both visually and acoustically enriches Kim's theatrical stage which hovers in the space of myth, history and dream. However, Kim does this while always leaving behind a connection between such audiovisual image and the reality in which we live, inviting the audience to meditate on life ‘here’ rather than what’s ‘there’ on the stage. And this is precisely why Kim is able to create works that truly shine not only on small theater stages but also on the stage of medium and even larger theaters.
We were somewhat worried whether him being honored with another recognition on top of his recent prizes would be a burden on him. Moreover, it's unfortunate that the works that received more acclaim among his works are limited to works with a particular writer, because, while this can become the background on which a director can come to deeply understand the oeuvre of a writer and possibly construct a stable stage, it also carries the risk of a young director missing out on a diversity of choices and trajectories.
Despite so, there is no doubt that Kim’s works so far demonstrate the motive that can develop him further as a director. We hope that through this prize, Kim is able to take an objective stance on his works so far, and discover his potentials to construct his unique style of work. Above all, we look forward to seeing Kim carving out an even more unique world as a director with his authentic and persistent approach to directing which he has hitherto demonstrated in the theatre production process.
_Judging committee: Mido Kim, Jaeyeob Kim, Kyoungmi Lee
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