The Jikji Theatre Project
Denise Rinehart: TEDx Performance
Dr. 박병선 proved Korea was the first place in the world where moveable metal type was used for printing. This collection, also referred to by its shortened name “Jikji” , was printed in 1377, 78 years earlier than the Gutenberg Bible. UNESCO honored it by including it in its World Heritage listing in 2001.
Theatre Amoeba has been researching Jikji for 3 years. Denise Rinehart works as a theatre professor and artistic director for Theatre Amoeba.
Performance at The Jikji Festival
Cheongju, home to the world’s oldest movable metal type, has held the Jikji Festival since 2003 as part of plans to develop the city into a “center of printing culture” like Germany’s Mainz, and to promote Jikji around the world. Programs include taking part in ancient printing methods, performances of traditional plays and music, tight rope walking and exhibitions of old printed texts.
Performance in Cheongju
We shared our work in Cheongju after our research during session 2.
Jikji Research Session 1
Creation and Development period Hooyong Performing Arts Center in Munmak, Korea.
The Library Scene
Dr. Park was working at The National Library of France when she rediscovered the Jikji.
Research Ensemble in Munmak
Performers held passports from USA, Korea and Scotland.
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Reasearch at Cheongju University
Theatre majors at Cheongju University worked with Denise Rinehart, Artistic Director of Theatre Amoeba, to research the story of Dr. Park.
Our project is being written in the space. As we devise the story is constantly breathing- expanding and contracting and being provoked by the Jikji, the artists, and the true story of Dr. Park.
Play Play Play
Games are part of our research. This game is called Jump! Eventually this playful moment lead to a scene called "The Living Timeline". Where we share the history of printing.
Reasearch with Cubes.
We initially started using large cubes for our project, but eventually discovered the smaller wooden boxes better represented the shape and movement of Jikji.
The Jikji was printed on Hanji paper. Hanji is made of the bark of Mulberry. It is extreme durable. Hanji literally means "The Paper of Korea"
The Poetry of Paper.
Hanji is remarkably environmentally friendly- as it does not cause pollution during its production process. In this scene a character wakes up inside the Jikji.
Dr. Park left Korea after the Korean war. She was the first Korean woman to study in France.
An ongoing physical project researching the movement and dynamic of Jikji.
씨어터 아메바의 신체극을 통한 박병선 연구: 프랑스에서 가장 오래된 금속활자를 되찾기 위해 노력했던 박병선 직지 연구학자. 씨어터 아메바에서는 "그녀가 프랑스 국립박물관으로부터 직지를 되찾기 위해 노력했던 오랜 세월을 조명합니다.”
This true story takes place not long after the Korean War, in 1955, when Dr.박병선first flew to Paris. Secretly looking for cultural relics that had been stolen from Korea during the 1866 attack on Gangwando Island known as the병인양요, she discovers the 직지.
Plunge into a physical world of storytelling as the memories of Dr. Park take you on historic and imaginative retelling of her discovery of the 직지and her lifetime struggle to return it to its rightful home in Korea.