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Spotlight New Reality of the Arts, Next Mobility and Circulation in the Post-Pandemic Era
_Preview of PAMS 2021: PAMS Salon and Next Mobility

New Reality of the Arts, Next Mobility and Circulation
in the Post-Pandemic Era
_Preview of PAMS 2021: PAMS Salon and Next Mobility

_Kyu Choi_Creative Director of PAMS(2021-2022)

Since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic in March 2020, the coronavirus has caused serious damage and crisis in all areas including society, economy, culture and the arts. As people are trying to make a “new reality” amid the uncertainties of the pandemic, the UK and Singapore rencently decided to live “with the coronavirus” and Korea followed suit, implying a transition to a new era.


This year’s PAMS Salon and Next Mobility are expected to serve as a venue of discussing the present and future of the performing arts. The PAMS Salon sheds light on how artists and planners have reacted creatively to the new reality in the international performing arts scene for the last two years. It also considers the “Role, Sustainability and International Mobility of the Arts in the Post-Pandemic Era,” which constitutes a major challenge as we prepare for the new era.
Next Mobility deals with the theme “Next Mobility/Circulation in the Post-Pandemic Era.” In this regard, it looks into how the international exchange, mobility and circulation will change in the performing arts scene from now on. That is because in the post-pandemic era, technology will be an important part of our daily lives while we will also face a new climate crisis and restrictions on physical mobility.

PAMS Salon
Planned by four PAMS Connectors specializing in street arts, music, dance and the theatre respectively, the PAMS Salon 2021 discusses the reality faced by the performing arts scene, arists’ variety of creative responses to the situation and a new direction for the future.
Jin Yim, an independent producer of street arts and festival programmer, chose the theme “New Public Space, New Street Arts.” Under this theme, this session invites Stéphane Segreto-Aguilar (coordinator of Circostrada), Johanna Tuukkanen (artistic director of the ANTI–Contemporary Art Festival), Wayla Amatathammachad (director of the Low Fat Art Fest) and Hyeryung Lee (Korean creator). Together, they review the present of street arts which are developing or transitioning and prepare their dialogue about the artistic expansion of the genre in public spaces.
The session also examines how artists and the public adapt to what public spaces have become after the pandemic deprived them of their rights to enjoy such spaces. Also, it explores the changes in the concept of public space and in creative trends. By doing so, the session assesses new possibilities for street arts and lay the foundation for designing new indices of creation and circulation.


HeeJin Lee from Producer Group DOT is a PAMS Connector for the theatre and speaks with Lynn Fu (independent planner from China), Dukhee Kim (head of the Production Team at Seoul Performing Arts Company), Ian Leung (program manager of Hong Kong Arts Centre) and Almut Wagner (Chief Dramaturg at Residenztheater München) in a session called the “Changing Tole of a Theatre during the Pandemic and Finding New Possibilities”
As social distancing measures get extended, “technology,” which could keep the arts and the audience connected, offers an alternative. This session’s participants discuss the overall changes occurring to creators and theatregoers. Examples of such changes include putting performances in a video format, contact-free international co-production and audience experiences, which are enabled by technology. They also delve into theatres’ new environments of performance watching and their attempt to go beyond indoor spaces. Indeed, some theatres are considering offering their space not just as a theatre but as where urban space and communities connect through the arts. Finally, they explore changes that need to be made in the creation and production of the performing arts, the role of theatres in the post-pandemic era and the ecosystem of the arts.


Cecilia Soo-jeong Yi, Head of Content at the DMZ Peace Train Music Festival, serves as a PAMS Connector for music. The topic of her session is “Questioning the Ecosystem of Asian Music Festivals” and its panel includes Justin Sweeting (Music Director at the Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival), Adrian Yap (Director of the Creative Arts Festival Urbanscapes) and Miso Kim (Executive Director of the DMZ Peace Train Music Festival).
Music festivals in Asia have grown rapidly over the last decade. But since 2020, the pandemic has caused damage to this region’s music market. This session reviews such damage and the current state of the market. Festival experts, who have witnessed the beginning and growth of Asia’s representative music festivals, re-examine the music festivals on this continent. And they try to figure out if the Asian music festivals’ current challenges are caused by the pandemic or by the local music market’s weak infrastructure.


Soohye Jang, an independent producer, is a PAMS Connector specializing in dance. The topic of her session is “Post-Pandemic, Where in the World Should ‘Emerging Artists’ Go Next?” The session’s panel includes John Ashford (Director of Aerowaves, European Dance Platform), Ahram Gwak (Programming and Production Team Leader at Korea National Contemporary Dance Company), Cheol-in Jeong (Choreographer of Melancholy Dance Company), who was selected for the 2021 PAMS Choice, and Ana Letunić, an independent curator.
This session is about the imbalance in the international exchange of the performing arts caused by the pandemic. During the health crisis, emerging artists who were just about to expand their international careers didn’t have many opportunities compared to some established artists. Analyzing such a phenomenon, the participants discuss how emerging artists are working internationally in each region, how new artists can be discovered and incubated especially when the borders are still closed, and what measures exist to build a sustainable ecosystem of the arts.


Next Mobility
The opening forum of PAMS 2021 starts with this theme: “Next Mobility/Circulation in the Post-Pandemic Era: Concept, Digital/Green Mobility and Circulation.” The forum will have me, creative director of PAMS, Kris Nelson (Artistic Director/CEO of LIF), Jisun Park (creative producer of Producer Group DOT), Stéphane Noël (Executive Producer of Materialise) and Rene Hyewon Lee (Producer/CEO of Giioii Immersive Storytelling Studio).
The forum’s participants will ask these questions. “How will international exchange, mobility and circulation be possible in the context of limited physical mobility?” “What is eco-friendly mobility that is part of artists’ concrete action during the climate crisis?” “How is technological development changing and influencing the creation, circulation and consumption of the performing arts?” By asking these questions, the participants discuss challenges of international exchange, mobility and circulation in the post-pandemic era as well as new possibilities.


The second round table of Next Mobility is planned by producer Park Jisun. Under the theme of “Climate Change and Artists’ Creative Actions,” it deals with major contemporary issues regarding the “sustainability of Earth, human life and the ecosystem of the arts.” And it emphasizes that it is time to change our perspective and to act. Why is climate change important for the arts and artists? And what role could they play? In this regard, the participants discuss creative responses to climate change and best practices. The panel includes Kim Boraham, Yi Haeweon (Korean creators), Chantal Bilodeau (playwright of Climate Change Theatre Action) and Hetty Hodgson (playwright of Pigfoot theatre).


Producer Rene Hyewon Lee prepared a workshop and a round table for Next Mobility. Her workshop is called “A Talk with the Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC): New Collaborations, New Experiences and the Future of Theatres Discussed through the Cases of〈Dream〉and〈Tempest〉.” Her round table will be focused on “Live Performances in New Digital Spaces Including Virtual Reality and the Metaverse.”
The workshop invites Sarah Ellis, Director of Digital Development for RSC. She has led the projects of RSC, which has continued its digital and technological experiments. During the workshop, she will tell a variety of stories about interactive experiments using games and virtual reality, the digital stage, a new definition of theatres for future audiences, different collaboration processes and insights.


The last round table of Next Mobility is about “Live Performances in New Digital Spaces Including Virtual Reality and the Metaverse.” It will be led by Jihyun Jung, director of VR immersive performance〈Scarecrow VR〉, which drew global attention at the Sundance Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival and SXSW, and Kiira Benzing, director of〈Finding Pandora X〉.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the progress of digital technologies has led to putting performances in a video format in order to complement offline performances. Going beyond such video production and physical limitations, the metaverse and VR technologies have been applied to artistic creation to meet global audiences. The round table shares cases of these new methods. It also discusses how artistic creation has been done in a new way by going online, mobile and even virtual, how circulation of the arts has been changed by using social platforms and how audiences’ role has expanded.


You can join the PAMS Salon and Next Mobility at PAMS On from October 11 to 14. We hope that these talks serve as an occasion to share wisdom for the new reality of the arts, next mobility and circulation in the post-pandemic era.

Kyu Choi
Producer of AsiaNow / Creative Director of PAMS 2021-22
Kyu Choi is greatly interested in major issues of the contemporary arts: “arts and city,” “diversity and inclusiveness of the arts” and “arts and technology.” In this context, he develops projects including creative research residencies, labs and workshops. He served as the artistic director of the performing arts festivals such as the Chuncheon International Mime Festival, Ansan Street Arts Festival and UK/Korea 2017–18 Creative Futures to plan programs and organize the festivals. He founded AsiaNow in 2005 and over the last decade, he developed projects focused on the international exchange of Korean plays, different forms of international co-creation and international residencies. In this way, he has been active as a producer and dramaturge. He is also a member of the steering committee for the Asian Producers’ Platform and APP Camp. The platform, which was launched in 2014, is a cooperation network for Asian producers’ development of diverse projects.
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