siren eun young jung did her university studies in painting and feminism. In her work she investigates the mechanism of the most individual desires and dreams encountering the incidents of the world and gradually being transformed into acts of resistance that further develop into history and politics. Since 2008, she has produced several episodes of the Yeosung Gukgeuk (traditional Korean female theater) Project. The project traces various contexts and contents of the Yeosung Gukgeuk performer community. This particular genre of theater consists of only female actors, meaning that those who play male roles are required to go through vigorous gender-shift training. In the 1950s, the golden age of the genre, it is worth noting that most women skilled in the pansori (Korean traditional story-singing) were former gisaeng (professional female entertainers akin to the Japanese geisha). This labeling of talented female singers as former gisaeng brought upon them society’s contempt and hatred. In Hiroshima siren presents her I am Not Going to Sing (2015), in which she portrays a famous performer who was confined to only secondary roles because of her inability to sing. The actress had consciously refrained from learning to sing the pansori for fear of being slandered as a former gisaeng. By portraying the irony of this actress’s decision to stay out of the spotlight as a male imitator in order to protect herself from the scorn felt toward working women, siren seeks to attack and deconstruct the illusion of gender expression that is repeatedly forced upon us by the society.
siren eun young jung was born in Inchoen City in 1974. She currently lives and works in Seoul. She studied visual art and feminism at Ewha Womans University, Seoul, and at the University of Leeds, UK. Her artistic interest lies in how the yearning desires of unknown individuals meet with the events of the world, and how such contacts become resistance, history or politics. Since 2008, she has been working on the Yeosung Gukgeuk (Korean Traditional Female Theater) Project, in which she accompanies a community of actresses performing the genre. In 2013, the project was awarded the Hermes Foundation Missulsang (Art Prize). She presents her works not only at art exhibitions but also at film festivals and performance showcases.