Borahm Kim is a media artist and a director of creative group Untitled Road. She is here on a studio residency from South Korea and hoping to develop scenarios and methods for non-verbal storytelling inspired by bringing together different languages and cultures.

Borahm spoke at the lunchtime talk about how she developed her previous theatrical works through the body of research on the everyday lives of others created through storytelling and various technologies (iot, game engine).

Five Things I Learned

1. Borahm didn’t start off as a performance artist. She studied woodwork at university before working as an animator and modeller for several years. It was a friend who was a theatre producer that first introduced her to performance art and Borahm now makes what she describes as observational-performance pieces. Her work is focused around translating ordinary happenings of life into fictional work. 

2. Her first piece was Dialogue Machine (2014), which translates spoken word into real life objects through video installation. Borahm made the piece for an abandoned theatre building as she wanted to bring something fresh and new to the space. She chose some excerpts from Seagull by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and the video performance ran for a month on a constant loop in the space. 

3. Borahm was invited to the city of Ansan to create a performance about the city. After three months of research she discovered that the smaller houses in the area had been devoured by the big city and countless memories vanished as a consequence. Borahm encouraged people to introduce her to the places that were unique to them and to share their memories. Her resulting piece was Untitled Train (2016) – a performance on the subway where she transformed those memories into a series of movements and gestures by performers among commuters. 

4. Plug in City Seoul is an eclectic cocktail of sound, live performance, game engines and video that takes the audience on a journey through a series of spaces. The project evolved from asking 20 participants from Seoul to write what they’re doing every ten minutes for 48 hours. Boramh then collected these memos and created five distinct themes, security, communication, truth, escape and power. Borahm took these themes and worked with a sound artist, a programmer and a choreographer to create performances based around them. 

5. Para-structures was a series of weird objects made from pieces of wood in a gallery space that you can interact and play with. Borahm wanted to rebel against the idea that you can’t touch anything in an exhibit. 

During her residency in the studio she wants to find out more about places in Bristol and make a performance based on her findings. 'I would like to see Bristol with your eyes'. 

Studio themes