The Talk
2004
single channel video, color, sound
26:09 minutes

The foreigners in this video are not foreigners.
My initial intention was to discuss human rights conditions of foreign workers living in Korea. Unfortunately, many of the foreign workers refused to be interviewed. There were various reasons for not accepting the interview, a majority of them being too fatigued with their work. I later learned that the fatigue they meant was a kind of tiredness that would disappear, if only I offered them some money.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I managed to recruit a worker from East Timor for my interview. I gained his permission by offering some monetary compensation for the interview.
The problem was that I could not find anyone who could interpret his language into Korean. In the end, I learned that it would be wiser to hire Korean actors who could act like foreigners.
Subsequently, I tried to recruit Korean actors, and two actors agreed to participate in my interview. After a make-up application and fake language practice, they did look like East Timorans perfect for the interview. However, there was another problem. In order to conduct the interview, I had to prepare the foreign workers’ answers to my questions as well. I was getting angry at this complication that arose from my simple plan to interview foreign workers. I had no one to blame however, since it was my own idea to make an artwork about the human rights of foreign workers like other artists, which would look very nice, indeed. At any rate, it is true that the increase in the number of foreigners tend to make things unnecessarily cumbersome. Nonetheless, I feel happy and satisfied that I managed to produce the video, which would have been impossible without the help of the actors. The subtitle in the video has nothing to do with the actual contents of the interview. The subtitle is designed for English speakers. I think they will be glad to have something to read while watching the video. I hope there is no misunderstanding by Koreans who read and understand English.
The person who appears as East Timoran has become a well-known actor. His name is Nae Sang Ahn. Let’s give him a big hand of encouragement.
The compensation for the two actors in the video was two hundred dollars per person.