Jane Jin Kaisen. Community of Parting

Community of Parting is an extension and continuation of Jane Jin Kaisen artistic practice. Kaisen brings past and present, the eternal and the temporal into play through layered, performative and multi-voiced, feminist works that explore topics such as memory, war, migration, and borders in a field where individual experiences and collective stories intersect. Her works negotiate and mediate the means of representation, resistance and reconciliation, thus forming alternative genealogies and sites of collective emergence.

Presenting a selection of artworks realized between 2010 and 2020 through installation views and film stills together with a vast array of research material and archival documents, this monograph is the hitherto most comprehensive introduction to the artist’s work. The book is composed of several interwoven voices: Community of Parting’s film script that integrates oral testimonies with poetics by Kim Hyesoon, poetry by Mara Lee, and shamanic ritual chants by Koh Sunahn, accompanied by essay contributions by Heidi Ballet, Anselm Franke, Pujita Guha and Abhijan Toto for the Forest Curriculum, Anne Kølbæk Iversen, Jane Jin Kaisen, Hyunjin Kim, Soyi Kim, Yongwoo Lee, and conversations with Mary Kelly and Kim Seongnae.

Contributions by Kim Hyesoon,
Mara Lee, Koh Sunahn, Heidi Ballet,
Anselm Franke, Pujita Guha and
Abhijan Toto for the Forest
Curriculum, Anne Kølbæk Iversen,
Jane Jin Kaisen, Hyunjin Kim,
Soyi Kim, Yongwoo Lee,
and Mary Kelly and Kim Seongnae

Read the full version of Anne Kølbæk Iversen
introductory essay A Parting Ways While Being With

“One of the scenes from Jane Jin Kaisen’s recent filmic work Community of Parting (2019) holds a certain cathartic, that is a certain violent, yet releasing quality. It is the scene in which shaman Koh Sunahn from the Korean island Jeju performs a ritual, the neokdurim (passage), recalling Kaisen’s lost soul and expelling the so-called lesser evil spirits (or soldier spirits) haunting Kaisen’s nightmares and daydreams.

Go away!
Shoo!
Fly away!
As I see
Frequently intruded upon
What intruded?
All the young people
All the elderly people
All the children
While moving around in foreign countries To Korea, to Japan
Moving around
Fine face
Kind heart
Please, separate and disentangle from her
Please, do not appear in her nightmares Please, do not appear in her daydreams As you wake up dreaming
The lesser soldier spirits
will be driven away!

As part of the exorcism, the shaman takes a knife and presses in it onto Kaisen’s hands, lips and temple, stabs her. At other points she covers Kaisen’s head with white cloth, wafting pieces of gime (the shamanic ritual paper, referred to as the curtain of the gods), over her head, chanting to the spirits, waving at them, pushing them away…”