Jung Hee Choi

RICE video sound performances and installation

MELA Dream House

275 Church Street, 3rd floor, NYC 10013

(between Franklin & White Streets in Tribeca )


PERFORMANCES: Friday, October 14 & Wednesday, November 9, 2005, 8:00 pm

Admission $24.  MELA Members, Seniors, Student ID, $18.
Limited seating.  Advance reservations recommended.  646-613-8328, 212-925-8270 


INSTALLATION:  Wednesdays & Fridays, November 11 through 25, 2005, 7 pm - 12 midnight; $ 4

BROADCAST:  Friday, October 14, 9:30 pm, Mantra TV, MNN Ch. 57 - TWC; Ch. 109 - RCN

As a special tribute, MELA Foundation presents the La Monte Young 70th Birthday Celebration Live Performance by Jung Hee Choi of her Composition in the style of La Monte Young's 1960 sustained friction sounds in a setting of her video sound installation, RICE, in collaboration with Marian Zazeela's environment, Imagic Light, on Friday, October 14, at 8:00 pm, in the Dream House, 275 Church Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY.  An additional celebratory tribute concert will be presented on Wednesday, November 9, at 8:00 pm.  Concert Admission $24; $18, MELA Members, Seniors and Students with ID.  The RICE video sound installation will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays, November 11, 16, 18, 23 & 25, from 7 pm to 12 midnight.  Admission $4. 

RICE will be telecast on Friday, October 14 at 9:30 pm on Mantra TV, MNN Channel 57-TWC and Channel 109-RCN.   

Choi's May-June 2003 presentation of RICE video sound performance and installation set in Marian Zazeelaís Dream House Imagic Light environment was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December 2003 Artforum. 

Choi has written: 


"RICE contains abstract and non-objective images and sounds.  The video is a realization of ever-changing sustained images.  There can be an ever-larger number of fluctuations of ever-smaller amplitude.  Unlike a repetitive optical pattern, the RICE images are a process in time that reflects the self-organized formation systems used to create structure by all living things in nature.


The work was inspired by the visionary artists, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela.  For the music, Composition in the style of La Monte Young's 1960 sustained friction sounds, I used a cooking pot as a resonating body and set it into vibration through circular motion with a wooden rice paddle.  In the audio installation the audience hears the amplification of multiple layers of the sounds which have been pre-recorded.  Through amplification, the higher partials become more clear and audible.  This unconventional instrument generates harmonics in systems of both rational and irrational intervals.  I perform in a state of focus on the universe of the sound, allowing the vibrations to materialize with a minimum of manipulation.  I will use the same instrument and technique in this live concert performance, accompanied by the multiple overlays of the audio environment.   


In Western classical music, variations and development of thematic and motivic structure are usually precisely notated.  As a result, each performance will be substantially the same.  However, both the video and audio elements of RICE have a similarity to Korean and Indian traditional music, jazz, and the work pioneered by Young, Terry Jennings and Terry Riley in the early '60s, in that the material in each of

the media is created through continuous subtle variations improvised in real time.  Compared to the precisely notated approach, this can produce performances that are recognizable as the same work, but sometimes quite different from each other in detail. 


The video and sounds are produced independently and have no further relationship other than my intention to exploit the inherent nature of the media.  When presented together, they resonate with a highly metaphorical sensibility.  Over periods of time, relationships gradually emerge:  the audience can experience the precise synchronization of video and audio since both elements in the piece traverse a reciprocal universality, and the human mind constantly seeks logic and the interrelationship of information.  This work invites the audience to explore their own inner space and share an exalted state of coexistence.  The environmental aspects of the work will be sounding before the audience enters, then the live performance will begin--and end.  The environment will continue."  


In Zazeela's environment Imagic Light, pairs of colored lights are projected on symmetrical mobile forms to create seemingly three-dimensional colored shadows in a luminous field.  Within this field, the appearance of Choiís RICE images obtains a rare synchronicity, offering new levels of perceptual manifestation. 


Jung Hee Choi has worked in a variety of contemporary media:  in painting, drawing, video, photography, sculpture, and multi-media installations, with several solo and group shows in New York City, Germany and Korea.  Utilizing both traditional and highly experimental techniques, Choi's vision has led to the development of a unique artistic language.  Ancient and universal themes inform her work in a process of assessing and defining the nature of reality.  Her inquiry focuses on how we perceive being and consciousness, and ultimately, how ideas representing the interaction of opposites intertwine with one another.  This pursuit began to direct Choi toward television as a medium of expression.  She began exploring television as a process of communication and, more specifically, how ultra-ultra high frequency becomes visible phenomena evolving from the mixture of mind and camera, to attain an instantaneous reaction from a broad spectrum of viewers.  Choi is a founding producer and director for Mantra TV, a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York City and Korea.  Her programs feature original works of art, music, dance, experimental film, and discuss the creative processes of art, abstract video, and performance.  Since September 2001, programs produced by Choi for Mantra TV have been streamed onto the web; visitors to the website are invited to experience both established and evolving repertoires.  In 1999, Choi became a disciple of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the study of music and art, with the Kirana tradition gandha bandh red-thread ceremony in 2003.  In 2002 she became a founding member of The Just Alap Raga Ensemble and has performed as vocalist in every concert.  Choi has collaborated with Young and Zazeela to produce long-term video documentation of their lives and work, including the Dream House and affiliated events.  She is the artistic consultant and director of camera and lighting for Jacqueline Caux's forthcoming documentary on Young and Zazeela.  In May-June 2003, Choi presented RICE, a video sound performance and installation in a setting of Marian Zazeela's Imagic Light environment in the MELA Dream House, which was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December 2003 Artforum.  Choi was one of the organizers of the 2004 New York Korean Film Festival.  Choi was video director, video mastering producer and vocalist for the La Monte Young  Marian Zazeela and The Just Alap Raga Ensemble long-term video installation of "05 II 05 PM NYC" Raga Sundara, ektal vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan at the Kunst im Regenbogenstadl Dream House, Polling, Bavaria, Germany, April 30 - October 31, 2005. 


Concert Admission $24 / $18 MELA members; seniors; students with ID.  Limited seating.  Advance reservations recommended.  Installation Admission $4.


MELA's programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and generous contributions from individuals and MELA Members.