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Online traditional ritual to offer comfort in pandemic times

Sept. 11, 2020 - 19:42 By Park Yuna
(Korea National University of Arts)

The Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) kicked off the Ars Electronica Garden Seoul Festival to present diverse ideas on how society would transform after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival is part of the 2020 Ars Electronica Festival, an international new media art festival held annually in Linz, Austria, every September.

Due to the pandemic, the festival has been expanded to both online and offline with more than 120 organizations participating across the globe under the theme of “Garden of Third Life.”

The KNUA, a prestigious art school here, will focus on the regional characteristics of Seoul in terms of natural and social elements, and how the reality and virtual world would coexist at the pandemic times. The festival, which began on Thursday will run through Sunday taking place both online and offline, at the university’s campus in northern Seoul.

The online programs include lectures by artists, researchers and scientists as well as the performance “Two Hands” that combines a Korean traditional “gut” ritual and projection mapping techniques, turning objects into display surfaces for video projections.

“The Korean traditional ritual practice, gut, was preformed to console the spirits of the deceased. I hope the performance of ‘Two Hands’ could offer a comfort to people who lost their lives during the pandemic,” said Yu Kyung-hwa, a professor at the Korea National University of Arts who directed the performance.

The “Two Hands” performance will stream live at 8 p.m. on Naver TV ( and the university’s official YouTube channel (

By Park Yuna (