Meiro Koizumi works across video, performing arts, and drawing to explore the relationships between the individual and society. Often confronting difficult chapters of history, his works challenge dominant political narratives and contemplate the future. Theater of Life delves into the histories of Koryo-saram, the ethnic Korean communities dispersed throughout the Soviet territory, primarily in Central Asia, following forced deportations under Joseph Stalin. Koizumi organized a two-day acting workshop for teenagers whose families recently moved to South Korea from Central Asia or fled from Ukraine or Russia due to the war. The project was inspired by historical photos of the Goryeo Theater, which was founded in Vladivostok in 1930 and played an important role in shaping the identity of the Koryo-saram community throughout the twentieth century. Assisted by an acting coach, the teenagers reimagined the characters and scenes from the historical theatre photos, harnessing the power of role-playing to relive the unique histories of their community.
Work in the exhibition: Theater of Life (2023), 5-channel video installation, 5-channel projection, 10 m screen. Courtesy of Annet Gelink Gallery (Amsterdam) and MUJIN-TO Produciton (Tokyo)