Ahn Eun-Me

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Ahn Eun-Me
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Born (1964-06-15) June 15, 1964 (age 56)
Yeong-ju, South Korea
NationalitySouth Korean
Other namesAEM
CitizenshipSouth Korea
Alma mater
  • Ehwa Women’s University
  • Tisch School of the Art
Occupation
  • Contemporary artist
  • Dancer
  • Choreographer
  • Educator actress
  • Theatrical creator
Known forKnown for delivering non-cliché dance movements

Ahn Eun-Me, Eun-Me Ahn "AEM" (born 15 June 1964) is a Korean contemporary artist, dancer, choreographer, educator actress, and theatrical creator.

As a choreographer, she is known for delivering non-cliché dance movements which subtly embed Asian dance linguistics fused with elliptical movements.

As a theatrics creator, she is known for eccentric gaudy aesthetics composed of beguiling and Kitsch visuals. She is also known for apathy towards heavy connotations and overly theoretical choreographs.

As a contemporary artist, majority of her works are of archiving materials. She held her first major solo exhibition as a visual contemporary artist in 2019 at Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, which gathered 90,000 visitors in 3 months.[1][2] She is known for collaborating with other artists to create a final piece. She was the only Korean artist who was invited to MMCA to exhibit one’s work in a major space with only one solo exhibition prior to MMCA invitation.

As an actress or as a media celebrity, she is known as a “crazy woman” due to her fashion style, which she creates with her tailor from left over materials from theatrical stage designs, near-shaven hair style, and her straight-forward opinions on all matters.[3]

As an educator, she is best known for her robust involvement in non-profit educations provided for anyone who comes to learn from her. It is said that she does not actually teach anything. But helps the pupils to realize or find the answers on their own.

Early life

She was born in Yeong-ju, southern province of South Korea. Although her family was not of wealthy in nature, Her talent as a dancer was blatantly noticeable, which made possible for her to attend Ehwa Women’s University on full scholarship. The university was the first institute in Korea to offer higher education in the arts of dance.

Adulthood

After graduating Ehwa University, she worked on several national projects including 1988 Seoul Olympics. She was a rehearsal director of the mass game and she was one of the youngest officials who was invited to the event.

New york

In the early 90s, she went to New York to attend postgraduate at Tisch School of the Art.

As a postgraduate from an early era of Tisch School of the Art, she was well versed in the bodily language and producing of theatrics.

This was when she became a dear friend of Pina Bausch. The delicate lines of Pina Bausch, which extends beyond elegance, contrasted handsomely with the ones of AEM. Although this would not bother AEM, realizing the difference, and knowing that the conventional contemporary dance movement was largely dependent on such characteristics of dancers, AEM was able to search for new linguistics of dance which was fit for her own. [4]

She stayed in the U.S. until the end of 20th century, dancing as a member of Martha Clarke Dance Company. After receiving due recognitions with the awards from Manhattan Foundation for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts, she was offered a directorship at Daegu Municipal Dance Company at the end of year 2000. Making a long-awaited return home.

Return to korea

In several interviews, she claims that the years in the U.S., and receiving recognition she longed for, made her realize that the world was made for not the winners, but for each of its own person.

During the time when she was the director of Daegu Metropolitan City Dance Company, she revolutionized several repertoire programs.

Among them are “All-new Tale of Chunhyang”. The original folk tale, which is about a beautiful concubine who proudly guards her chastity for the imperial official who promised her his undying love, has been completely re-iterated in AEM’s own language. Her dance repertoire refuses to conform to the past values leading the society to oppressions and innate hierarchy. Chunhyang in her repertoire does not care for her chastity. She is portrayed as a rather expressively vulgar character. The imperial official has passionate homosexual relationship with the provincial governor who, in the original tale, is an evil dictator who wishes to spend a night with Chunhyang.

This was very provocative attempt, considering Daegu is a region notorious for its extreme conservatively. Her creativity continues with the Dance Company for 3 more years until she resigns from the directorship in 2004.

Global fame

During the time, she also choreographed for the opening ceremony of World Cup 2002 and the closing ceremony of Daegu Summer Universiade 2003, making her the only person in Korea who had been appointed a directing position in all three major world sports events of a nation. Her creations traveled around the world. Often being invited to major dance companies such as Wuppertal. The repertoires made during this period brought her international fame. Her repertoires were praised for not providing cliché orientalism which the west world was used to expecting from Asian creators.

In 2009, she was awarded The Nam June Paik Art Center Prize for the global achievement and distinctions. It was an extra ordinary event because the prize was never before given to a female dancer/choreographer. She created a performance piece in homage to Nam June Paik.[5] The performance involved destruction of 12 pianos which were lifted up in the air with high construction cranes.[6][7] This was one of the most controversial pieces among her choreographies. The outcome of the performance, the shards, are collected by the art centre and Ahn Eun Me. The collection was not shown to public until 2019, appearing at her first solo exhibition at a museum.

Recent decade

As her career expanded into the second decade of second millenium, her work became more focused on the bodily movements of neglected minorities who are conceived by society to have less capabilities. The most praised among her programmes is “Dancing Grandmothers”.[8] Most western dance genres rely heavily on the youth of dancers. In this programme, she has formed a team almost purely consisted of silver age ladies. This programme insinuate the idea that dance moves of now will be the ancestors’ dance moves in the future.[9][10]

This repertoire, which was internationally premiered in France in 2011, was praised by 4 major papers of Paris.

Her programs created after this often involve participations of audiences. This makes her choreography unique in a sense that it resembles a concert and art exhibition at the same time.

Awards

Year Title Entity Country
2019 68th Seoul Culture Awards : Dance Seoul City Government[11] South Korea
2019 Gender Equality Awards : Cultural Person Women and Culture in Network South Korea
38th Sejong Culture Awards : Art Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism South Korea
2019 International Theater Institute Special Award International Theater Institute South Korea
24th Dance Art Award : Daeshim Dance ChangMu Arts Center South Korea
2016 Prix Culturel France-Corée 2015[12] Le Comité du Prix Culturel France-Corée France
2015 The 8th Best Artists of Year Award Performing Arts Management Association of Korea South Korea
2014 2014 Best Artist’s Mother Award Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism South Korea
2011 3rd Seoul Culture Today Best Artist Award Seoul Culture Today South Korea
2009 1st Nam June Paik Art Center Prize[13] Nam June Paik Art Center South Korea
Dance Vision Prize : Isadora Dace Art Prize The Modern Dance Promotion of Korea South Korea
2005 Isadora Awards Organizing Committee of Korean Modern Dance Museum South Korea
2004 100 people to lead the future of Korea Hankyoreh Daily News Paper South Korea
1999 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Lower Manhattan Cultural Council USA
Fund for Creative Communities New York City Department of Cultural Affairs USA
1998 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellows : Choreography New York Foundation for the Arts USA
1991 1st MBC Excellent Choreographer Award : Stolen Dream MBC South Korea
1990 12th Seoul Dance Festival Best Dancer Award : Meeting Korea Dance Association South Korea
1988 Seoul Arts High School Dance Competition Teaching Award : Bird Seoul Arts High School South Korea
1986 3rd New Generational Dance Performance Outstanding New Artist Award : Se-aal Korean Modern Dance Association South Korea
1985 3rd National University Students Dance Competition President Award of the Korean Culture and Art Foundation : A Letter from Desert The Federation of Artistic and Culture Organizations of Korea Chungbuk Branch South Korea

Film works

Year Title Role Director
2005 Daespo Naughty Girl Choreographer and Actor Je-Yong Lee
2002 H Choreographer Jong-hyuk Lee
2001 Wonderful Days Choreographer Moon Saeng Kim
2000 La Belle Body Director Kyun-dong Yeo
1999 Interview Choreographer Hyeok Byeon
1998 Cut Runs Deep Choreographer Jae-han Lee
1995 The Hair Dresser Choreographer Jin-su Choi
1993 Dead End Choreographer Sung Soo Kim

In the media

              

References

  1. "데뷔 30주년 무용가 안은미 "미술관서 불로장생의 길로 갑니다"". 한국일보 (in 한국어). 2019-07-02. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  2. 미술·문화재전문기자, 손영옥 (2019-07-15). "[손영옥의 지금 미술] "미술관으로 쳐들어온 안은미…신나긴 하지만 미술언어론 뭉툭 "". m.kmib.co.kr (in 한국어). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  3. "'무한도전' 김C, 미친인맥 자랑…안은미-박승건-이소라 깜짝 등장 "왜?"". 이투데이 (in 한국어). 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  4. "Dancing Grandmothers | The Korean grandmothers of choreographer Eun-Me Ahn". Holland Dance Festival. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  5. "한국사회가 백남준을 해석하는 방식". weekly.hankooki.com (in 한국어). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  6. Eun-Mi AHN's performance in the sky after Nam June Paik, retrieved 2020-06-15
  7. Eun-Mi AHN's performance in the sky after Nam J. Paik, retrieved 2020-06-15
  8. "Eun-Me Ahn - Dancing Grandmothers". gadja. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. "Eun-Me Ahn : « Les Français accordent de l'importance à l'originalité »". Le Monde.fr (in français). 2017-05-05. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  10. Sorin, Etienne (2016-07-21). "Paris Quartier d'été : la Corée, force de vie". Le Figaro.fr (in français). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  11. Kwon, Jaewoo. "KCCLA". Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  12. parisconsortium. "Les lauréats du Prix Culturel France-Corée 2015". Le Réseau des Études sur la Corée (in français). Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  13. GGCF (2009-11-28). "1st Nam June Paik Art Center Prize". Nam June Paik Art Center.

External links

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