Thursday, February 22, 2007

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

"Dictee" by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

I found the prose novel "Dictee" by Cha by chance. It was a cold, foggy, overcast day and I was browsing in a University of California textbook store and discovered it orphaned on a shelf, where it had been set aside for a film class. Intrigued by its cover, I opened it and was not at first certain what it was about. Then I realized it was a poetic fusion of memory, poetry, drawings, dreams, linguistic mythology and autobiography.

Sound complex? Well it is.... Cha received a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of California and an M.F.A. in art practice. She spent 1976 in Paris doing postgraduate work in film-making and theory. Chas's exploration into language deconstruction was an act of courage influenced as she was by an occupied Korea denied its own tongue.

During the last two years of her short life, Cha worked on "Dictee" which in the tradition of the surrealists and language poets combines, autobiography, linguistics, poetry, memory, displacement, exile, alienation and morphs into dream life. Her remarkable contribution to cross-cultural, multi-media art deserves to be acknowledged as the rich legacy it is and a front runner of contemporary art.


d. chedwick bryant said...

that's a pretty interesting/sad post. I will ook into her works. thanks.

d. chedwick bryant said...

EEK I wrote OOK instead of LOOK.
I have been trying to type more carefully.