Temporary Korea Yeh Tzu-chi
2003/08 South Korea
I asked the audience to write on my body. I wrapped my bosoms with pink ribbon and tied a bow on my chest. Then I spoke some Korean. Finally, I stepped down to the audience and took pictures with some of them.
The Encounter of a Poet and a Performance Artist
I went to join a performance art event in Korea, 2003. Walking on the streets in Korea, eating Korean food, listening Korean, and watching Korean every minute almost made me feel like a Korean. Then, why not trying to be a Korean for 1 night!
In 2008, just before the performance outside Gimcheon High Speed Rail Station, a tall skinny gentleman came to me. I was then among the crowd, wearing like an ordinary people. But he came to me and asked “Are you ‘Yen’ Tzu-chi?” That’s my fifth participation in performance art events in Korea, and third time in Gimcheon. Hong O-Bong, the curator, failed to spell my surname in the right way. It should be Yeh, but he spelt it as Yen. So Many Korean people called me Yen Tzu-chi in the first two years. Hong corrected later, but still many people called me Yen Tzu-chi. So the gentleman really knew me. He wanted to give me a book of poetry as a gift. He opened the book to a certain page and pointed the poem on that page, saying that the poem was about me. He said he had seen my performance before. I was so surprised but the performance was going to begin that we can’t help but separated, and then he sat quietly on the ground as an audience.
He came to me again after the performance. He said he couldn’t stay any longer because he had to take the last train to go home. Then suddenly he put his hand on his chest and looked at me into the eyes for a few seconds without saying anything. There was such a strong power in his eyes that I was quite charmed by the way he looked at me. Then he turned around and walked quickly towards the gate of HSRS. My eyes followed his back until he disappeared behind the gate. I still remembered that he was in white suits that day.
That man, that look, and that poem have always been on my mind for years. Which performance did he see? What did he write? It’s not until March of 2011 that I found someone to translate the poem From Korean to Chinese. So, it was Temporary Korea that he saw. It’s a very simple and short piece which I almost categorized as something shallow and childish. To be honest, I was surprised that it’s the performance he saw and it’s the one that made him to write a poem for me.
However, it’s a nice poem. Because of him and his poem, I decided to show the performance here.
朴晉亨(Park Jin Hyoung) 鞠文瀞 譯
大約三十餘歲的台灣女人yen chu qi