2024/06/14

Maeng & 4 2[sai:] 2012

 Korean musician Maeng(Jeongeun Maeng) learned classical piano from a young age. She completed the piano major course at Seoul National University's Institute of Western Music while studying linguistics at SNU. After graduation, she went on to study abroad in Germany to receive a degree in piano. In Germany, she took piano lessons in various locations, including Freiburg, Cologne, and Düsseldorf, yet she returned to Korea because she did not know how she could integrate her Korean identity (which was important to her) into her European academic music studies. Back in Korea, She became interested in traditional Korean music and soon transferred to the Department of Korean Music at Seoul National University. Afterwards, she learned shamanic Janggu from East Coast under the late Kim Yong-taek, National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 82-1, and she completed the music therapist course at the Korea Art Therapy Association. She chose to go to Berlin for her music therapy studies in 2012. From 2012 to 2013, she interacted with artists in Berlin, improvising music and immersing herself in the practice of action painting performance art, which could be seen as a process of art therapy for herself. Practicing music and dance as part of psychological holistic therapy, she realized that not only stabilizing the psychology but also activating the human body and its bioenergy could be the ultimate goal of treatment, so she returned to Korea where she was able to practice traditional Qigong and martial arts. In Korea, she learned 'HANMOM TRAINING ', a pain relief exercise based on Korean martial arts and Qigong, from Master Wonho Lee, who founded the training and is currently her husband. At present, living in Korea, she is producing pain relief music, playing the piano and janggu with a horse-riding standing posture like a squat, and working as a video creator, a qigong trainer, and an English teacher.

 Improvised music and body-related expressions as its psychological representation are always the main focus of her artistic activity. 


 Even before coming to Berlin, Maeng was already quite familiar with the art of improvisation. She was inspired by improvisational musicians in Seoul, including Park Chang Soo, a first-generation improviser in Korean avant-garde art and a pioneer in popularizing small-scale concert cultures, and Alfred Harth, a German artist and improviser, and by the highly improvisatory shamanic music used in various shamanic rituals in the East Coast region. She started her lifelong project ‘project 4 2 [sai:]’ in Seoul in 2011. She explicitly points out that this is not only an aesthetic project, but also a quasi-therapeutic project and a social project that aims to connect people. ‘4 2 [sai:]’ represents the Korean word ‘sai’, which means ‘interval, distance, middle, and relationship.’ 'Project 4 2 [sai:]' is a concept that appears in various cognitive, social, cultural, and ecological relationships surrounding the self, such as the relations between body and mind, between people, between cultures, between genres, and between humans and nature. Artistically exploring aspects of tension, conflict, harmony, and communication, it contains the process of growth and healing of both parties involved in the relations. This project is planned on a yearly basis, as in '4 2 [sai:] 2012', '4 2 [sai:] 2015', etc., and for each work, the objects, materials, and form of the result related to the ‘4 2 [sai:]’ are specifically set in advance. The idea of ‘4 2 [sai:] 2012’ is to create 100 photos of the resulted ‘action painting’ through improvisation by spraying acrylic paint of a couple of selected specific colors on the floor, and moving and dancing on it.