“창 chang,” is a sound and video installation focused on loss. The loss of family, the loss of a country, the loss of culture and the loss of traditions. Through the use of the technique of Chang (창), the traditional Korean singing style, three generations of my family - my grandmother, my mom, and myself - explore absence within our lives and in relation to each other.
Chang has two meanings in Korea, one is defined as the sounds that are produced by the mouth in Pansori (판소리), the Korean genre of opera story telling, and the other is defined as window.
My grandmother, who was born in Korea and who has lived there her whole life is professionally trained in Pansori. She is singing a traditional and original opera piece. My mother who was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States in the 1990s has had no training in this technique or vocals. She is singing a contemporary song where the methods of Pansori technique have been adapted for a modern day song. I was born in Lawrence, Kansas and have lived in the United States for my whole life and have had no training in any sort of vocal art form. Unlike my grandmother and mother, I will be singing a self-composed Chang with lyrics that are the ABCs of Korean (Hangul).
Questioning how the on-going progression of the erasure of Pansori mimics the loss of these women, “창 chang” is an artwork that presents topics of immigration, the absence of a nation, and the loss of family relations.