New Adventures #2: Mami Kang
— November 16, 2021

Mami Kang is a Korean-Japanese choreographer based in Amsterdam. She graduated from the SNDO – School for New Dance Development in 2019, and the recipient of AFK’s 3Package Deal in 2020, and the danceWEB scholarship in 2021. She is one of the selected makers of ICK-Artist Space’s New Adventures residency program 2021. For one month, these makers use the ICK studio as a laboratory for dance research and creation, with artistic and productional support from ICK. On November 19 & 20 Mami Kang, together with Fernanda Libman, Reza Mirabi and Marko Ivic, will present the outcome of the residency as a work in Progress presentation at Theatre-studio De Vlugt in Amsterdam.  

Where does the inspiration for what you are creating now come from specifically?  

The inspirations for my work often come from different places. But since last year I have been looking closer at the notion of mythmaking and decentralizing the classification that often comes from a dominant Western perspective. I am interested in creating the new “body-ness”, not from the point of identification but through the alterity and the agency of otherness. I want to look at the creation of dance not only from the visibility and human invigoration – but also from the potential of imagination and invisibility, irrationality, and with participation to the non-human entities.  

What are your plans working with a sound-designer and especially a visual artist?  

My motivation for making often ties in with the dialogues that I have with people around me. There are artists who I think share similar interests and the agency for what we bring into the world. Within this research frame, I invited two artists who work in different mediums, but I feel connected with what they express through their artworks. I invited the sound artist Anni Nöps to create the soundscapes in close dialogue, and I work together with a visual artist Antonin Giroud Delorme to make a sculptural environment. This first research will be shown as work in progress at the end of this residency. I am strongly interested in looking closer at the meaning of collaboration and relational practices in my upcoming works.  

In your application you express that you would like to imagine “future nostalgia”. Could you elaborate a bit more on what this is and why it inspires you?  

I often think about what the future will look like. I experience a sensation of fear imagining it. It is something obscure. I wonder what it means to be advanced and to be smooth in our current time. There is no smooth utopia-like place for all beings. The word utopia literally means “no place.” Instead of always aiming to be advanced in time, I want to imagine an alternative and expansive time scale beyond the future with the resonance and the oscillation from the past. The past can be my own biographical one, but also the historical or ancient ones when we were not born. There are sensations that come to me, like a pain, when I think about past-future and its ephemerality. I am interested in getting closer to this sensation and generating experiences out of these feelings. It is very abstract but like a futuristic archeological work to me.  

Can you name five keywords that are typical for your work? 

Contradiction, displacement, feeling, materiality, transformation 

Void filled with other things (Working Title) by Mami Kang ©Bas de Brouwer

What specifically attracted you to apply to the New Adventures at ICK?  

I think ICK artist space is one of the few essential places in Amsterdam that can support independent dance artists and the local performance community. I was excited when I saw the open call and applied to experiment with my new choreographic ideas within this one-month residency frame. 

What do you hope to discover during your research here at ICK?  

My desire to discover a new working method that I have not touched yet. Also, I would like to look at the relations of all the materials that I work with. Since this residency is a research period in my process of making, I would like to create something to carry and grow towards next year. I am also curious to reach out to the audiences at ICK who have never seen my work before. 

What feeling or experience do you want the audience to take away when they watch your presentation? 

This is a difficult question for me to answer. I think it is fine to feel something different than what others in the audience experience. Even more so, this openness of interpretation is something intriguing. I wish to create sonic and visual landscapes that invite the audience to immerse themselves in an unfamiliar and elusive space and time. It also could be an in-between fragmented area of dream, hallucination, fiction, and reality. I would like to research the ways of collaboration and see how I can participate with my body in this world of creation.  

— Article written by Noa Appelman


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