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January programs to focus on Korean pansori

In commemoration of the 110th anniversary of Korean immigration to Hawaii and to the U.S., Bare & Core Expression will host special events by a guest artist in January.

Chan E. Park will present two community lecture demonstrations and workshops. The first one will be held Jan. 16 at Thelma Parker Public Library in Waimea from 2-3:30 p.m. The second will be Jan. 17 in the Hawaii Community College cafeteria in Hilo from 7-8:30 p.m.

Park will speak on the history, genre and repertoires of pansori, the storytelling-singing tradition that emerged as a distinct art form three centuries ago in Korea. A hands-on workshop of pansori singing will be included in the presentation. The lecture demonstrations and workshops are offered to the public for free.

On Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center, Park will present a solo performance titled “One Hundred Ten Years Ago, Pak Hungbo Came to Hawaii,” a pansori story-singing about the Korean immigration to America that began in Hawaii, which she originally wrote and performed as the “Centennial Pansori” in Honolulu in 2003.

The play adapts the character Hungbo from the “Song of Hungbo,” one of the five remaining pansori narratives. Driven out of their family home in Korea by his vice-ridden older brother Nolbo, Hungbo takes a contract to work on the Hawaiian sugar plantations. This tragicomic account of Hungbo narrates the history of Korean migration to Hawaii.

Advance purchase tickets are available through Ticket prices are $10 for advance purchase and $15/$12 at the door on the day of the performance. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, as seating is limited for the performance.

Park earned her Ph.D. in east Asian languages and literatures from the University of Hawaii and is currently a professor of Korean language, literature, and performance at Ohio State University.

Her specializations include research, translation and performance of pansori theater, and its theoretical implications for the study of oral and musical textualities. She has published extensively on the theory and practice of Korean musical and narrative tradition and its interdisciplinary connection with the broader scope of arts and humanities.

Park is the innovator of the bilingual pansori, and presented her works at numerous locations around the world. She has singly or collaboratively produced the world premieres of Centennial Pansori: In 1903, Pak Hungbo Went to Hawaii (2003); When Tiger Smoked His Pipe (2003); Shim Chong: A Korean Folktale (2003); Alaskan Pansori: Klanott and the Land Otter People (2005); Pak Hungbo Went to Almaty (2007); Fox Hunts and Freedom Fighters Korean and Western Women in Seoul 1894-1920 (2009); Fox Hunt and the Death of a Queen (2012).

This event is in part supported by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the State Legislature and by the National Endowment for the Arts, American Savings Bank and Korean American Foundation Hawaii. For more info, contact 333-2730 or

Bare & Core Expression is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to provide opportunities where everyone can access the arts to appreciate as well as to participate in the process of creativity through performances, workshops, exhibits and arts education programs.


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