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EXPLORESpecial Events

Seopyeonje: The Song of the Road image
Special Events

Seopyeonje: The Song of the Road

In celebration of Chuseok, the Korean thanksgiving holiday, join us for a special literature, film, music, and art event commemorating the 20th anniversary of Director Im Kwon-taek’s landmark film Seopyeonje (서편제)Released in 1993, Seopyeonje forever changed Korean cinema, proving that authentic Korean culture could be the basis of a serious and successful film. The film, which follows a group of wandering musicians in 1950s Korea, was a box office hit at home and won critical acclaim abroad. 

Experience the essence of Korean culture presented in the film through several special programs: a presentation on the 1976 novel that inspired the film, live performances of the film’s music, an exhibition of traditional artwork inspired by the film, and a screening of the seminal film itself.

A free RSVP is required to attend (scroll down). 

Seopyeonje: The Song of the Road
Opening Reception/Main Event: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 | 6:30 - 11:00 pm
Exhibition DatesSept. 20 – 30 (open M-F, 9am-noon and 1:30-5 pm) 
Location: Korean Cultural Center Washington DC (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW 20008)
Contact: Jiyoung Yun | jiyoungy@koreaembassy.org | (202) 587-6163
Presented by: Korean-American Culture Arts Foundation
6:30 pm -- Welcome, Presentation, Performances, and Exhibition Opening Reception
8:30 pm -- Screening of Seopyeonje

Art Exhibition
Artist Kim Sun-doo, who worked closely with Director Im to provide traditional artwork for his later film Painted Fire (Chihwaseon), visualizes the infusion of traditional Korean culture in Im’s classic film Seopyonje. Kim will also sign copies of his latest art book. Kim is an expert in traditional Korean ink and brushwork as well as contemporary art, and is currently Professor in the College of Fine Art at Chung-Ang University. 

Music Performance
Traditional vocal and instrumental music from the film Seopyeonje will be performed: daegeum (bamboo flute) by Master Won Chang-Hyun (Former Chief-Director of the National Gukak Center) and pansori (storytelling through song) by Master Yang Seung-Shin (Jeollanamdo provincial Gukak Institute), with Choo Sun-ha (Namwon Municipal Gukak Institute). 

Literary Talk
Woo Chan-jae, Professor of Liberal Arts Science at Sogang University and a literary critic, will give a presentation introducing the 1976 novel of the same name that inspired Seopyeonje. Woo will examine the harmony and connections between the cinema, music, art, and literature of Seopyeonje. 

Film Screening
The evening will conclude with a full screening of Im Kwon-taek’s landmark 1993 film Sepyoenje. In 1950s Korea, three itinerant pansori musicians wander the countryside performing and scraping out a meager but passionate living. Song-hwa is raised by her stern teacher on the belief that a truly great pansori singer must sacrifice and suffer, imbuing her story and song with true emotion. Years later, her half-brother Dong-ho recalls their time together and seeks the tragic family he abandoned in his youth. Seopyeonje exquisitely captures the key Korean sentiment of han, a sense of grief, longing, and a broken heart that characterizes the Korean nation. 

Presented in Korean with English subtitles (112 min.) Watch the trailer here