Parting on Z 2009


PARTING ON Z: Virtual Interactive Puppetry + Pansori

 Wednesday, May 27, 7 pm 


Chelsea Art Museum

556 West 22nd Street (at 11th Ave), NYC




“Parting on Z” is realtime virtual interactive puppetry that responds to the puppeteer’s voice and walking balance, integrated with the traditional Korean oral storytelling known as Pansori. The story chosen for this performance is the farewell scene from Chunhyang-Ga (춘향가), the oldest pansori text and one of Korea’s best known stories about love, separation and reunion. This farewell scene demonstrates the extreme emotional state of constraints called han (). Han is a paradoxical state of consciousness that combines the extreme state of grief caused by physical or mental constraints with a great hope and strong desire for overcoming the situation. It is a fundamental driving source of transformative rituals in Korean shamanism. “Parting on Z” explores han in the paradoxical relationship between virtual puppet and puppeteer via the distance between avatar and user—symbolic lovers facing each other, continuously exchanging dialogues of love and farewell. 

Tonight’s performance invites the pansori master, Junghee Oh, to be a puppeteer interacting with the virtual puppet in real time.  The virtual puppet will face the puppeteer from a distance, speaking back her story in real time mimicry and mirroring her body in swaying motions. The audience will be physically and spiritually located between spiraling interactive dialogues of the virtual puppet and the puppeteer.



Art Direction, Virtual Puppet: Semi Ryu (VCU Kinetic Imaging)

Interactive system: Stefano Faralli (Multimedia lab, Univ of Rome, Italy)

Text, video generation: Ali Miharbi (VCU Kinetic Imaging) 

Programme, Einvite design: Eric Wolinsky (VCU Graphic Design)

Video Documentation: Anne Schermerhorn (VCU Photography & Film)

Pansori master: Junghee Oh

Drummer: Donghoon Kim

Curated by Nina Colosi

Special thanks to: Sangho Lee, David Burton, Hansung Ryu, Zoe Park