Yung Bin Kwak

Fireworks and Massacre in Grey (Spasmodic) Room On Hangjun Lee’s Phantom Schoolgirl Army

Fireworks and Massacre in Grey (Spasmodic) Room On Hangjun Lee’s Phantom Schoolgirl Army

I came to ruminate on this dormant episode and mull over its implications intensely after I watched/listened to Phantom School Army [Phantom hereafter]. South Korea’s trailblazing avant-garde filmmaker and performer Hangjun Lee’s most recent work to date, Phantom is a remarkable work of art as it blinds, if momentarily, viewers with a series of flashes while bombarding audiences with noise-induced sound blast. What’s more striking is that this literally vertiginous audiovisual performance work addresses Yeosu-Suncheon Rebellion (1948), one of South Korea’s dark historical traumas whose immediate aftermath (the number of casualties overall is estimated to reach 10,000) and long-term repercussions in effectively establishing the ‘red scare’ or anticommunism proved vital, or rather, lethal to many lives as well as the egalitarian imaginary in post-war South Korea

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