1/16 Sohye Kim @ APEA

Sohye Kim

(Postdoctoral Weinberg Fellow, Northwestern University)

“Crossing Borders of Memory: The Making of Transnational Post/memory in Zhang Lu’s Films”

2:00-4:00pm, Classics 312

*Please note the special date and location*

On January 16th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Sohye Kim (Postdoctoral Weinberg Fellow, Northwestern University). She will deliver a mock job talk titled “Crossing Borders of Memory: The Making of Transnational Post/memory in Zhang Lu’s Films.” Sohye provides the following abstract:


Zhang Lu (1962-) is one of the most emblematic diaspora filmmakers in South Korea today. In the six feature films which he released between his debut in 2004 and 2009, Zhang portrayed ethnic Koreans across China, Korea and Mongolia who are pushed by inexorable forces to the peripheries of, and boundaries between nation-states. However from 2012 to 2018, Zhang set his films exclusively in South Korea, his ancestral homeland to where he had relocated from his home in China. As both spatial and thematic departures for the director, films such as Scenery (2013), Gyeongju (2014), Love and…(2015), A Quite Dream (2016), and Ode to the Goose (2018) refrain from explicit portrayals of the diasporic issues that had surfaced prominently in his earlier works. This talk examines how Zhang’s “South Korean” films negotiate the formation of national culture in the homeland and in turn, how they uncover new forms of transnational practices through cinematic imagination and spectatorial experience. Specific focus is placed on Zhang’s articulation of his own diasporic history in relation to collective memories surrounding South Korean film culture and the internalized notion of border, from the physical border between the nation-states toward the metaphoric boundaries of human beings and their memories. The talk demonstrates how the audience’s temporal experience and memorialization of cinematic texts is intensely interwoven with the director’s memory. On this communal ground, I argue, Zhang’s films illuminate the mutually constitutive and dialectical relationship between national film culture and diasporic filmmakers, and in doing so, become a potential site of transnational postmemory.


There is no pre-circulated paper for this talk. Refreshments will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you there!


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