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Haunting In The Flesh (2015)

Performance by Myung-Sun Kim

Sound created in collaboration with Mika Posen and Myung-Sun Kim

Instructional feast by Myung-Sun Kim in collaboration with Artscape Gibraltar Point Community and friends

Location: Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island, Canada


Haunting In The Flesh (2015) explores the idea of a revenant, where a spirit returns from the dead to reconcile and tell their stories of an unsettled, undocumented history. The particular stories told through this performance and instructional feast emerge from the context of Korean history, revisiting experiences of Japanese Occupation (1920 - 1945) and the Korean War (1949 - 1953).   The performance begins at sunset on a beach by a fire-lit glowing mound. A figure appears from the woods, moving towards the glowing mound. Layers of masks are ripped, torn, and burned. Music is played throughout - a soundscape created with balloon and violin. A bodily mass is dug from the hot mound, and carried across the beach to the dining/ kitchen area for the feast.

Sound for performance, 'Haunting In The Flesh' (2015) - Collaboration between Mika Posen and Myung-Sun Kim (violin and balloon)

The instructional feast begins with the reading of poetry around the circular dining table, one at a time. Six different words or phrases painted on on each plate with beet reduction ink lay in front of each guest, each plate corresponding to a different scroll of poetry the guest must unroll before they read. Starting with revenant, the verse, in the context of this feast, suggests why the revenant has returned, why the dead has been unburied, “for another telling for other recitations”. This first verse is an excerpt from Theresa Hak-Kyung Cha's Dictée. Displayed on the placemat above the menu for the evening is a low-resolution image reproduced from the first pages of Dictée, a photograph of graffiti written by Korean slave workers, found in a Japanese underground tunnel after WWII. It reads, “I miss my mother. I am hungry. I want to go home".





“ From another epic another history. From the missing narrative. From the multitude of narratives. Missing. From the chronicles. For another telling for other recitations”


Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictée






haunting in the flesh



“it grounds me in something felt, a lived experience, where memory is formed, that is part of how I constitute a history, even a fantasy…there is power in honouring lineage in the flesh. And it is through the flesh that memory is created, activated, released, expressed and thought… its appearance is a haunting.”


Nasrin Himada, A Positioning, Not a Question






bearer of memory



“I am my family’s self-appointed bearer of memory, recalling the absent spaces, recording the recipes, searching for the glimmer of devotion, the aroma of happiness, the back beat of bitterness. Between recipes and stories, I will ask myself a thousand times: who owns these memories? How is it that each of us remembers in a different way?


Marusya Bociurkiw

Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl








Poetry has got nothing to do with poetry.

Poetry is how the air goes green before thunder,

is the sound you make when you come, and

why you live and how you bleed, and 

The sound you make or don't make when you die.


Gwendolyn MacEwen, Afterworlds









“You begin with the ache and end with the object, where in most of the life of appetites – courtship, marriage – you start with the object and end with the ache.”


Adam Gopnik






time being



" A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be…. Time itself is being… and all being is time... In essence, everything in the entire universe is intimately linked with each other as moments in time, continuous and separate."




How do you search for lost time?


“For the time being

Words scatter…

Are they fallen leaves?”


Ruth Ozeki, A Tale For The Time Being


The menu is comprised of post-war period cuisine, where various foraged greens considered to be worthless at the time were consumed for survival. Ingredient such as milk thistle greens (곤드레), associated with these times of struggle, disappeared from the cuisine when the country prospered. It has recently been re-introduced into the Korean cuisine as a health food that is good for the liver, and has become commercialized for mass consumption. Milk thistle is still rare to find as a dish served in restaurants in Korea. For the first dish, guests wrap the meat that was dug out of the ground earlier during the performance with various greens and leaves. They are to consume this wrap in one bite. The rest of the menu is served.


Fermented Korean rice wine (makgolli) is served with the meal. The process of fermentation transforms a raw substance into a whole other being – suggestive of alchemy or magic – a crucial process for the meal, and particularly in consideration of this traumatic, undocumented, unresolved history.














Penny Goldsmith, Lisa Cristinzo, Andrew Lockhead, Darren Reinhart, Luisa Milan, Mika Posen

Karen Mulhallen, Maiko Tanaka, Emily Fitzpatrick, Serena Lee, Chris Lee, Danbi Lee

Siya Chen, Terence Tam, Shelley Zhang, Joyce Wong, Milica Dodic, Mike Tjioe

Phil Lee, Dave Cho, Lisa Dias, Jung Ahn, Katy Somi Chan, Basil AlZieri




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