Discovering Clues to Creation through Exploration and Experimentation

“The intangible power that exists in the process of actualizing the output is the reason I do research.”

– Kyung Ae Ro

‘What does listening mean?’ The detailed observation, experimentation, and investigation that started with this trivial question can be the beginning of creation.

Kyung Ae Ro, a choreographer, researcher, and teaching artist, oversees various research projects that are closely linked to creation, education, and research by discussing a certain agenda with colleagues in various arts fields such as sound arts, visual arts, video, and design. In this interview, we talked about research as an artistic methodology with Kyung Ae Ro, who believes in the ‘intangible power’ that exists in the process rather than the results.

Kyung Ae Ro

Photo/ ⓒKACES

Q. Please introduce yourself.

Hello. I am Kyung Ae Ro, a choreographer, researcher, and teaching artist.

Kyung Ae Ro x Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, Creative Movements Playground, 2016

Photo/ ⓒKorea National Contemporary Dance Company

Q. What have you been focusing on lately?

I have been planning and supervising multi-media collaboration projects focused on making creative choreography with artists in various media, such as sound, visual arts, and video design. In addition, I have been working on arts education projects with children, adults, the disabled, and the elderly.

Listen/Hear project directed by Kyung Ae Ro: Sung Hee Wi, Borrowing Ear, 2019

Photo/ ⓒKyung Ae Ro

Q. What are the connections and differences between arts creation and arts education?

When it comes to my work, arts creation and arts education are closely linked. Methodologies I found in arts creation are being directly used in arts education. Recently, my methodologies in arts education are moving towards arts creation again.

The difference between arts creation and arts education is that creative work embodies my view as a choreographer, while in arts education, participants play very important roles. Depending on the participants, whether they are children, adults, the disabled, or the elderly, the subject and content of arts education are decided according to their respective characteristics.

Q. Could you tell us about your research-based projects?

Research is the way I do my choreography. It is the process of determining a concept and implementing it. As a means of research, I search for materials, write, or draw. I also take photos and recently I even filmed videos.

The study started with exploring body movement. However, as I diversified research methods, drawing pictures, writing articles, and taking photos, I gradually expanded the project to multi-media collaboration projects. This type of collaborative project, in particular, is not a collaboration that supports choreography, but a project in which each artist takes one’s work in the same direction under a single theme.

Combing Placing +, Lab directed by Kyung Ae Ro: Hara Won video exhibition, 2017

Photo/ ⓒKyung Ae Ro

Q. Why do you prioritize research as an artistic methodology?

The reason why I prioritize research is that when I first started out, unexpected things were developed into methodologies and certain values were discovered through the process.

Another reason I like researching as a methodology is because of the existence of the invisible. Many artists go towards the result, and so do I. I believe in not only the result itself but also the intangible power that exists in the process of actualizing the results.

Kyung Ae Ro x Coreana Museum of Art C-Lap 3.0, (In)visible Body, 2019

Photo/ ⓒCoreana Museum of Art

Q. Why should we interact with others?

I believe the reason we need to interact with others is because of the point at which various gazes face or intersect. Although we should be careful not to resemble each other too much, we should pursue a type of encounter that makes individual personalities more vivid and clear.

Listen/Hear project directed by Kyung Ae Ro, 2019

Photo/ ⓒKyung Ae Ro

Kyung Ae Ro

A choreographer, researcher and teaching artist. Kyung Ae Ro works as a creator in the fields of dance and interdisciplinary arts. She creates unique choreography and arts education methodologies. She carries out creative arts education for children and adults in which body movement becomes a creative play. In addition, she conducts arts creation and education for the disabled where the limitations rather help expand one’s imagination and senses.

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