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An online magazine about Korean culture, food and hallyu based in Toronto, Canada

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

 

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