It was on 22nd.feb, a Sunday evening and a program called ‘Unknow Ordinary’ at Sunaparanta, Altinho, Goa, was exciting news. It was a performance by South Korean Artist / Photographer, Mr. Kyungwoo Chun.
There were thirty of us and we did not know what to expect or how to perform, except that we would be participating in a performance. We had to sit in two rows of fifteen people in each row. We were not supposed to talk to each other or get acquainted or even to show any expressions. A long table (s) was arranged in the courtyard and various vegetarian Goan delicacies were kept in small dishes in front of each participant.
Long table laid with food
When the music started, we were told to look at the food in front of us for one minute. At the end of one minute, start feeding the person in front ie. row ‘A’ will be fed by row ‘B’, for ten minutes. As the gong goes on we had to stop feeding. It depends on the person feeding, whether he / she wants to feed with spoon, fork, hand or feed food or water etc. or feed the desert first or last or how much quantity to feed etc. Feeding and eating are done in silence.
To feed the person in front
They changed the plates and the participants moved one seat to the right and started feeding the person in front of them, ie. row ‘A’ fed row ‘B’ for ten minutes.
It is the other person's turn to feed
There seemed to be several layers to the performance according to me.
- · The artist gets to watch people doing ordinary things but under the conditions set by him
- · He gets to photograph or record the moods and actions of people while performing
- · Participants get to experience something new, in this case feed an unknown person
- · Each participant will react or respond to the performance unique to himself or herself
In our culture, we dine with larger numbers of people at a time, be at weddings / festivals / picnics. We feed our children; sometimes feed our elderly, and rarely but not unusual to feed strangers too. We should be grateful if we are fed and should cherish those memories. How about feeding someone and surprise them! It was a fascinating experience nevertheless, to view it from the perspective of a participant in a performance.
Mr. Kyungwoo Chun, the artist and photographer
After the performance, Mr. Kyungwoo Chun gave a presentation of his work. It was amazing and an impressive body of work. The photographs showed the people in action not so much their feelings while performing.