Category Archives: Visual and Performing Arts

Reflections – Natalie

I’ve done a fair amount of reflection in my past few blog posts, but I suppose there’s always room for more. Over the course of this semester I’ve both achieved and not achieved my goals. I actually have a much clearer and more long-term view of the trajectory of my work, and a vision for what I want to achieve not only in this semester, but further on in college. Continue reading

Celebration! – Tray

Hello everyone! This week’s post will be focused on reflection. It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two months since the school year began. Here’s a brief overview of what has been accomplished to date:

  • Read and presented on Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting
  • Performed a comedic monologue from Molly Sweeney in preparation for future auditions
  • Cast as Nikos in Big Love, which received high praises from the community and the Greater-Philadelphia Cappies
  • Became a performing member of the Elements Dance Ensemble
  • Performed “Don’t Touch My Hair” at the Arts Festival
  • Currently working on a dramatic monologue in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue
  • Voice Lessons with T. Rebecca Field
  • Pending Independent Project Proposal for chance to act in Seattle with my aunt
  • Reading Constantin Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares
  • Cast as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof (to be performed in February)

Continue reading

Final Stage! – Cleo

Yesterday was the arts festival, which means that the dance section has been put to rest. Last night T. Will, in introducing the performance, laid out everything that I have done thus far. That conveyed the gravity of it all to me. I hadn’t even considered it up until that point. In my mind I was just making art. It’s what I do. Continue reading

Painting for Longevity ‘Shipchangsaengdo’

Today, I am going to introduce another genre of Korean folk painting which is called Shipchangsaengdo. For early Koreans, the goal and desire of life was pretty simple: fortune, honor, wealth, longevity, and fertility to have plenty of descendants. Koreans portrayed their hopes for such a life in Korean folk paintings. Among them, Shipchangsaengdo portrays common people’s wish to live long. Continue reading

It’s Working… – Cleo

In the dance studio on Monday, while I vigorously choreographed and drilled, I couldn’t stop thinking about next steps. I was taking in the music and thinking about movement, but at the same time, ideas for the visual piece started popping into my head. This is a huge step for me. It was the first time that I felt that I was looking holistically at my project rather than just at the facet at hand. Continue reading

Fly Me To The Moon – Tray

Hey! Long time, no see! I missed a week of school with my fly-in programs at both Pomona and Williams (which were both amazing!), and have been working to get caught up on my work. Let’s get to it!


I have spent this past week finishing Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting, along with a book review and a presentation to the Acting Workshop class (presentation on 10/25). Continue reading

Humor and Satire – Mike

In my previous blog, I mentioned that the book “Handbook of Korean Art” indicates in Korean folk paintings, humor and satire are prominent elements. I explained how they are composed in Hojakdo. But the book does not tell why and how humor and satire in Korean folk painting evolved. It seems this is because the book is just a handbook, introducing Korean folk paintings to Americans briefly and focusing more on displaying various folk paintings.

I even looked on the Internet but I did not find the way and reason satire evolved in Korean folk paintings. I probably didn’t find much because I searched in English, not Korean, and there don’t seem to be many resources in English. Even on Korean sites, though, there was no clear explanation. At this point, I felt more historical research on Korean folk paintings is needed. Part of the problem is that since Korean folk paintings’ artists and dates are not known, they have not been viewed as historical records in Korea.

Based on my research and knowledge of Korean history, I realized that satire in the paintings reflected the Korean society during the 17th Century. At that time, Confucian philosophy shaped Korea by defining jobs and duties. The Confucian social hierarchy was rigid with the aristocracy or yangban serving as the government officials. Common people comprised the next level down, and were called yangmin; most were merchants, artisans, craftsmen, and farmers. The bottom class was the slave class, called chonmin. Yangmin and chonmin had to obey yangban.

Yangmin composed most of Korean society. Many of them suffered from some yangban’s oppression, ignorance, and corruption. Instead of expressing unlawful violence and anger toward the yangban, the common people chose to ridicule them through paintings. Interestingly, another interpretation of Hojakdo is that the magpie in the paintings represents the yangmin themselves while the tiger represents the ignorant yangban. Although the magpie may seem weak, it is intelligent and looks down on the funny-looking tiger which thinks it is fierce.

Such typical Korean satire and humor continues today. The music video Gangnam Style that went viral in 2012, and is the the third most viewed and liked video on YouTube, ridicules wealthy citizens from Gangnam, which is one of the 25 districts of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. While Gangnam represented only 3 percent of South Korea’s population in 2010, 40 percent of Seoul’s registered assets were concentrated in Gangnam. Therefore, the artist PSY satirizes ostentatious Gangnam residents going to parties through a hilarious dance. The Gangnam style video is similar to Korean folk paintings in that both mock the power and privilege in Korea.

Humor and satire prevailed in last year’s Korean presidential impeachment and election. During the protests on the street, which demanded impeachment, diverse events were held such as puppet plays and drawing caricatures that depicted the former president being controlled by her not elected friend.

After the Korean president was impeached, during the new presidential election exit polls of several broadcaststers, presidential candidates were hilariously portrayed as characters from Game of The Thrones, riding on a dragon, or creatures of Pokemon Go. Koreans were entertained watching the humorous exit polls, in the same way that Korean folk paintings entertained their ancestors unlike the traditional, dull, and ordinary exit polls which project an image of “high” status and education, like sophisticated ink paintings. The humor and satire appeased the anger that the Koreans had toward the former corrupt government and showed the strength of the citizens through portraying Korean president candidates hilariously instead of figures of respect and fear, as the yangbang and modern powerful figures saw themselves.


Yoon, Yeol-su, et al. Handbook of Korean Art. Yekyong Publishing, 2002.

“Park Geun-Hye and the Friendship behind S Korea’s Presidential Crisis.” BBC News, BBC, 31 Oct. 2016,

O’Connor, Roisin. “Gangnam Style Video by Psy Surpassed as ‘Most Watched’ YouTube Video by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 12 July 2017,

Mailonline, Charlotte Ikonen For. “Nuclear Winter Is Coming? Hilarious South Korean Election Coverage Portrays Candidates as Game Of Thrones Characters (so at Least Someone Isn’t Worried about Kim’s Nuke Tests).” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 10 May 2017,

Miller, Tanya Jo. “Is ‘Gangnam Style’ a Satire About Korea’s 1%?” The Huffington Post,, 3 Sept. 2012,

The Source – Natalie

I’ve finally begun the process of revising and piecing together my portfolio, and as I do this, I’ve found myself reflecting on all of the things that got me here. So, for this post, I thought I’d give you all a little bit of insight into the source of it all: the art that has shaped my art from the very beginning. Somehow, this seems an appropriate thing to do as I approach the moment in my life when it will all culminate into a portfolio which may very well determine the course of my future.

So lets go back. Continue reading

The Theater of it All – Cleo

As I stepped into the studio yesterday, I knew that I wasn’t feeling it. My body and moving were not things that I wanted paired. But I had to get going. So I thought, “How do I loosen myself up?” What I ended up doing was putting on some Frank Ocean and dancing my ever-loving heart out. I didn’t think about my movements (or anything else for that matter.) I just moved. I danced and danced as song after song played. Continue reading