• Hyeyung Yoon

Madang: Open Space

I immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 when my family moved to Queens, NY from South Korea. Ever since then, I always wondered what being “home” truly meant, and after many years of being away from my place of birth and trying to find a “home” across the United States, I came to a realization that home is a place where one is free to express one’s true self.

In Korea, there’s a concept called madang. It has something unique to offer to the classical music world, and I plan to bring this beautiful concept through my solo performances, chamber music performances, and teaching across the United States and world. The word “madang” translates as the courtyard of a traditional Korean house, but it can also mean an open space, usually outdoors, where varied activities such as performances, public meetings, and festivals take place. In a deeper and more nuanced meaning, it can also refer to a time and space where boundaries that exist between different groups of people are obscured. When attending a madang performance, an environment is created where audience interacts with the performers by vocally or even physically participating in the performance. Whether you are female or male, young or old, rich or poor, all are accepted and free to express. There are many genres of madang performances that range from a shamanistic ritual in the courtyard of a house to a performance of Korean traditional performing arts in a modern-day madang space.

My plan is to go to South Korea for a few months in the 2018-2019 season to immerse myself in the ways that variety of madangs, spatial or temporal, are created by Korean traditional art performers and performance presenters in small villages and city venues. Through my research of madang and its unique way of sharing between performers and audience, I would like to explore a way to experience performances that encourages a “home” for creative minds to roam free.

I’m on a journey to find a true “home” for my creative mind and will be posting blogs, ideas, videos, music, and more related to this quest right here in open space. Will you meet me here time to time?

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