Jaha Koo is a South Korean theater/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues.
Since 2014, Koo has been working on his Hamartia Trilogy, which thematically focuses on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today. The first part, Lolling & Rolling, was first presented by Zürcher Theater Spektakel in 2015. The second piece, Cuckoo, premiered at Steirischer Herbst Festival in 2017. The final part, The History of Korean Western Theatre, premiered at the International Summer Festival Kampnagel in 2020 and was selected for the TheaterFestival 2021.
In 2021 Jaha Koo presented his Hamartia Trilogy for the first time at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, with a reworked version of Lolling and Rolling. He is currently touring the world, both with his trilogy and with the three performances separately. He took his first steps at the Brussels Arts Workshop Pianofabriek & the Bâtard Festival. Since 2017 he creates his work under the wings of CAMPO where in between touring, he is working on a new creation scheduled for 2023.
Coming up at SIFA
What can a bunch of talkative rice cookers tell us about the past twenty years of Korean history?
At turns sombre and amusing, Cuckoo is Jaha Koo’s bittersweet reflection on the personal and social impact of economic crises that South Korea has weathered in recent decades.
Lolling & Rolling
Exploring English as the predominant language of political power, Lolling & Rolling is a powerful one-man show that traces the shadow of linguistic imperialism within Korean society, and questions its impact on the “inaudible voice” of the subaltern.