Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thingumajig Theater and the puppetry of Andrew Kim

London-based Korean American puppeteer Andrew Kim's work impresses me for its aesthetic and technical execution. Working with Kathy Bradley and, he has consistently created vivid and imaginative works, notably The Vertigo of Sheep. The official synopsis was:

A well-meaning but unreliable clown attempts to explain the Book of Genesis.
Were Adam and Eve set up to fail? Did Abraham truly intend to sacrifice his son? Why did Lot's wife really turn into a pillar of salt? Through household objects, puppets, physical theater
and live music, Thingumajig Theatre creates a world where profane objects are sacred and the sacred is hilarious.

I once saw a performance at the Center for Independent Artists along with Heart of the Beast's Masanari Kawahara, who did a stunning puppetry interpretation of Gojira(Godzilla).
This was one of the key performances that affected my current thoughts on the potential of puppetry and poetics, particularly for the Southeast Asian American community.
Throughout its many peaks, Vertigo of Sheep is stunning, literary and imaginative, accessible and deep, transcending the form in many ways.
It's a wonderful bar for contemporary Southeast Asian puppetry to consider. How might we address contemporary social issues and beliefs, true to tradition but also changing our sense of things from the encounter?

Looking at Rain Bear in video performance, above, for example, I wonder what levels the art could be taken to.

It intrigues me because of the deep need for community input and its multidisciplinary engagement for performances such as this to truly succeed.

1 comment:

Andrew Kim said...

Thanks Bryan for the write up! But note: I'm based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England which is nowhere near London.