Journey to the World
2006
single channel video
HD, 16:9 ratio, color, sound
12:57 minutes

The children who appear on the screen are singing songs from various countries. Because the foreign lyrics have been translated into Korean, the children do not have difficulty in learning the tunes. Most of these songs are from the 70s and 80s, and were featured in Korean middle school and high school textbooks. Only songs written by musicians who received the official approval of the then Ministry of Education were included. By introducing an advanced Western culture into the curriculum, the ministry aimed to cultivate an appreciation for the beauty of foreign cultures in Korean youths, and to help them adopt cosmopolitan attitudes and tastes through the creation of a cultural affinity. The songs presented here are Aloha Oe, Heidenroeslein, La Paloma, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Greensleeves, Der Tannenbaum, Funiculi-Funicula, and Oh! Susanna. My father suggested that I memorize at least one of the songs listed above by heart and learn to sing it skillfully, for he said that being able to sing a song from a foreign country would prove essential in solidifying the friendships I formed with Westerners. Although I never managed to actually carry out my father’s advice, I have often regretted my passive approach to such things. Even now, I feel that being able to sing at least one song in a foreign language—whether it’s an American or German song---would be a good thing. I love music even though I don’t like to sing. I wish this love to be communicated to others.