March 4, 2016

“Transgression and Syncretism”

Photo: You Mi.

Curator: You Mi

As part of the inaugural season’s “Asia Window” program at Asia Culture Center Theater, “Transgression and Syncretism” takes the silk road as a figuration of thinking and “demystifying method,” which questions the constructed codes of culture and politics that define borders today in terms of nation, ethnicity, ideology, standard of development, and fixed in temporal linearity. Inspired by travelers on the silk road, historical and trans-historical, real and fictive, we embark on a journey that transgresses such coded structures that govern thinking and action today.

The silk road resounds for us not merely as a romantic image for trade and mobility, indeed we may have been as impulsively enthusiastic about the volume of historical land-route trade as we are about the prospect of transnational super-infrastructures today. Both have to be examined in the context and in the way they define movement, space and their relations to the centers. The aim is not to go back to any romanticized original state but to ask, in what way can the nomadic spirit find contemporary incarnation?

The three-day program is composed of a series of performatively interwoven lectures, screenings and performances with newly commissioned works. The program starts with tracing Eurasian connections and disconnections, to question the concept of nationalism, construction of identity and border regimes. At the same time, it highlights transgressive potentials through the medium and means of voice, translation, and transliteration. Further, it investigates what is the immediate counter-image of border regime—transnational capitalism—in the history of East Asia and in the globalized world today. Inspired by the old silk road, it proposes decentralized networks against centralized structures. Lastly, with a speculative leap, the program turns the gaze outward into extraterrestrial encounters in the heartland of Asia as well as inward into the deep geological history of planet earth. In one of the evenings, it travels to a temple in the nearby mountains to restore the balance of breathing with the geological body of the Korean peninsular.

You Mi is a Beijing-born curator, writer, and academic staff at Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. Her interests are in the deep history of Eurasia and the silk road, which she has traveled both literally and metaphorically, philosophy of immanence through performance, media and technology, and she is currently working on the idea of digital Confucianism.


Detailed program:

March 11

HO Puay-peng 
“Experiencing the Silk Road” (lecture)

Igor Demchenko 
“Architectural Heritage, Nation Building, and the Cult of Science in Soviet Central Asia” (lecture)

Aslan Gaisumov 
Prospect Pobedy (screening)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan 
Language Gulf In the Shouting Valley (screening)

Tobias Revell 
88.7, Stories From the First Transnational Traders(lecture performance)

Slavs and Tatars 
The Tranny Tease (lecture performance)

MU Qian, Ubulhesen Memet et al. 
Sufi Night (concert)


March 12

Diane Rabreau 
Becoming a Satellite Explorer (workshop presentation)

Mohammad Salemy
“Blockchain and Decentralized Networks” (lecture)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
“Contra Diction: Speech Against Itself” (live audio essay)

Royce Ng
Kishi the Vampire (lecture performance)

The Trochilus Exercise: Marton Bialek and the Ecstasy of the Rülek Scrolls (lecture performance and workshop)

PARK Soyoung
Su:um, Dari (performance)


March 13

“Mystical Findings in Xinjiang” (lecture)

Agnes Meyer-Brandis
The Moon Goose Colony (screening)

BURST (screening)

Ashkan Sepahvand

Lucie Tuma
Volkskörper #2: choreography of tectonics (performance and workshop)

JEONG Geumhyung
Fire Drill Scenario (performance)



You Mi
if on the silk road a traveler (research game)

[email protected] / T +82 1899 5566

Executive Producer and Program Advisor: Louiza bvba / Els Silvrants-Barclay
Production Manager: Sarah Parolin
Technical Director: Michele Piazzi

Commissioned and Produced by: Asia Culture Centre-Theatre
Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea

Artistic Director: Seonghee Kim
Dramaturg: Max-Philip Aschenbrenner

Press contact: [email protected]

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