Korean Culture at 2014 Nuit Blanche

The Empress Dowager performance art at Nuit Blanche
The Empress Dowager performance art at Nuit Blanche

I love Nuit Blanche and try to go every year I’m in Toronto, at least to see a few of the exhibits. A night walking around the city looking at interesting and funky art installations, it’s always an interesting time. This year I was particularly interested in the exhibit that was being marketed as a Korean shaman performance because well, it would give me a chance to write about one of Toronto’s non-Korean festivals. And since I’m already writing about Nuit Blanche, I might as well show you a few of the other highlights we saw too.

Nuit Blanche

First, let me introduce Nuit Blanche to those of you that might be unfamiliar with it. It’s a (mostly outdoors) one-night arts festival that goes from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am on a Saturday evening in early October. The festival started in Toronto’s Financial District which is a bunch of skyscrapers downtown and has since migrated to different locations, mainly but no longer exclusively, in the downtown area. While most of the exhibits are simply for the night and outdoors, there are also indoors ones – as was the Korean exhibit that I’m mainly focusing on. And while this year wasn’t my favourite of the years I’ve attended, there were still some interesting exhibits.

The Empress Dowager

The sign outside the performance
The sign outside the performance
I'm hooked on the performance already
I’m hooked on the performance already
Traditional Korean drumming in a beautiful church, interesting match
Traditional Korean drumming in a beautiful church, interesting match
CDs for sale
CDs for sale
A change of performers
A change of performers
Don't let their youth deceive you, they were talented
Don’t let their youth deceive you, they were talented
A beautiful and soulful performance is about to start
A beautiful and soulful performance is about to start
Her music was lovely
Her music was lovely
I don't know what to watch, the dancer or the drummers
I don’t know what to watch, the dancer or the drummers
Her dance was so commanding and deliberate
Her dance was so commanding and deliberate
The photos don't do the performance justice
The photos don’t do the performance justice
As much as I always enjoy Korean drumming, I found this dance captivating
As much as I always enjoy Korean drumming, I found this dance captivating
So luckily I didn't have to choose as the performance included both
So luckily I didn’t have to choose as the performance included both
The dance struck me as so somber and serious
The dance struck me as so somber and serious
Each step was so lovely, so deliberate
Each step was so lovely, so deliberate
And it ends... even if I wish it wouldn't
And it ends… even if I wish it wouldn’t

A snapshot of other exhibits

The Empress Dowager was just one of many exhibits at this year’s Nuit Blanche. Here’s a few pictures of some of the other exhibits Jenn and I saw. All pictures were taken from approximately 1:30-4:00 am.

Global Rainbow - seven beams of light from Chinatown to the CN Tower
Global Rainbow – seven beams of light from Chinatown to the CN Tower
Walk Among Worlds - a super cool and super busy exhibit with beach balls that look like globes
Walk Among Worlds – a super cool and super busy exhibit with beach balls that look like globes
Walk Among Worlds - A closer look at the exhibit that just begs you to keep looking
Walk Among Worlds – A closer look at the exhibit that just begs you to keep looking
It All Falls Down - an interactive exhibit of light, sound and music
It All Falls Down – an interactive exhibit of light, sound and music
Global Rainbow - Hitting the CN Tower
Global Rainbow – Hitting the CN Tower
Amaze - an exhibit that takes a different approach to scaffolding (with Global Rainbow in the background)
Amaze – an exhibit that takes a different approach to scaffolding (with Global Rainbow in the background)
Gap Ecology - an exhibit that uses cherry pickers and palms to make us think about the environment
Gap Ecology – an exhibit that uses cherry pickers and palms to make us think about the environment
Gap Ecology - one of those exhibits that looked much more interesting in person than on paper
Gap Ecology – one of those exhibits that looked much more interesting in person than on paper
Monument to North American Energy Security - a multifaceted exhibit that used City Hall's water feature
Monument to North American Energy Security – a multifaceted exhibit that used City Hall’s water feature
Halflife - a performance art exhibit that reminded me of clubbing
Halflife – a performance art exhibit that reminded me of clubbing
Phrases Toward Rephrase - it was an odd exhibit that seemed to be an indictment on construction
Phrases Toward Rephrase – it was an odd exhibit that seemed to be an indictment on construction

 

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival. Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher.

We want to hear what you think!

%d bloggers like this: