Installation view: Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, ARTSPECTRUM, Korea, 2016, photo by Hyunsoo Kim.


HD Video 16:9. Color / B&W, 78 min. 2011/16

8-channel video installation

Reiterations of Dissent illuminates the suppressed history and fragmented memories of the Jeju April Third Uprising and Massacre of 1948, which unfolded shortly before the outbreak of the Korean War on South Korea’s Jeju Island, the artist's birthplace. In a brutal crackdown of a local uprising, state authorities and rightist paramilitary groups, under the auspices of the United States Military Government in Korea, waged a “red hunt” that would unleash genocidal violence upon large parts of the civilian island population. The ideologically charged event was systematically silenced for five decades, and its memory remains contested to the present day.

Reiterations of Dissent explores a new language for documentary filmmaking and challenges relationships between text, image, and narrative. Composed of multiple distinct video narratives, the film uncovers various underlying political motivations and portrays how the un-reconciled trauma of Jeju 4.3 continues to resonate through multiple forms: the island's present landscape, evocative literary representations, recurring memories of survivors and relatives, shamanic rituals that mediate between the living and the dead, and in protests against the ongoing construction of the Jeju Naval Base. 

Mainly told through the second generation of children of victims and survivors who have been engaged in truth and reconciliation efforts around Jeju April Third locally (including Hyun Ki Young, Huh Yeong Seon. Kim Kyung Hoon. Kim Seong Nae, Jong Gong Chul, Kim Dong Man, Song Seung Moon, Koh Nan Hyang, Kim Jong Min, Cho Mi Young, Kim Eun Hee, Kim Dong Chul), each video narrative shows a different aspect and a different attempt at approaching the Jeju April Third Massacre as an unstable episode of modern history by presenting a multi-layered archive of experiences, events, and perspectives.

“Reiterations of Dissent” was awarded the ENTERPRIZE 2011 by Jury Chus Martinez, associate curator at MACBA, Barcelona and co-curator of DOCUMENTA 13; Dirk Luckow, director of Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Åsa Nacking, director of Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden

The jury’s statement:

"The price goes to Jane Jin Kaisen. It is very difficult today to address the subject of collapse and recovery and in doing so finding a new language for experiencing the images, not only thinking through them. And we thought this artist has been able to create a powerful combination of registers that explore, on the one hand, the very genre of the documentary, and of the other our relationship with text, image and action. Every monitor seems to show a different version, a different possibility to address, to tell, to invent even a relationship with an „unsayable“ (in the words of Theodor Adorno) episode of Modern History, the massacre of Jeju Island in Korea. And therefore the price, to continue her research and the inquiry into the human, which she has started here”.

See Also:

· Dissident Translations

· Unfaithful Returns: Reiterations of Dissent, U.S.-Korean Militarized Debt, and the Architecture of Violent Fredom by Crystal Mun-hye Baik, Journal of Asian American Studies, Vol.18,  2015

· ART21 Staff Pick: Jane Jin Kaisen's "Reiterations of Dissent", (Cristiana Baik) May 14, 2014

· Jeju Weekly: Reiterations of Dissent: A Review of Jane Jin Kaisen's video installation at the Jeju April 3rd Peace Memorial Hall, Tom Willis-Jones, Oct. 31, 2013

· Flerstemmige traumatiske fortællinger, Jane Pedersen, 16 dec. 2011

Video stills: Reiterations of Dissent

2 minutes installation documentation

Photo by Halo Studio. 

Video excerpt: Reiterations of Dissent


Directed, edited and conceptualized by: Jane Jin Kaisen

Recorded by: Jane Jin Kaisen & Guston Sondin-Kung

Voices: Hyun Ki Young, Huh Yeong Seon. Kim Kyung Hoon. Kim Seong Nae, Jong Gong Chul, Kim Dong Man, Song Seung Moon, Koh Nan Hyang, Kim Jong Min, Cho Mi Young, Kim Eun Hee, Kim Dong Chun.

Poems and literature by Hyun Ki Young, Huh Yeong Seon, Kim Kyung Hoon

Translation: Se Young Oh, Hyun Joo Jun, Young Sook Han, Jeyon Kim, Jin Kyung Choi, Park Jung Joo, Ming Jung Kim, Lee Jung Hyo, Soni Kum, An Hye Kyoung, Sun Young Hong, Yoon Kyung Lim.

Special thanks to the many individuals and organizations who have dedicated themselves to the truth clarification of the Jeju 4.3 Incident and who have shared their knowledge, research and time to help realize this film, among others: The Jeju 4.3 Research Institute, The National Committee for Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju April 3 Incident, Jeju April 3rd Peace Park, Hallasan Theater Group, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Frontiers, Life and Peace, Guston Sondin-Kung, An Hye Kyoung, Sung Hee Choi, Yang Yun Mo, Kim Min Su, Bruce Gagnon, Hyun Ki Young, Huh Yeong Seon, Kim Kyung Hoon, Mun Mu Byong, Kim Dong Man, Song Seung Moon, Koh Nan Hyang, Kim Seong Nae, Kim Eun Hee, Cho Mi Young, Gwon Gwi Sook, Park Chan Sik, Kang Yeo Bae, Koh Gil Chun, Kim Dong Chun, Kim Jong Min, Sungsoo Kim, Huh Ho Joon, Oh Seung Kuk, Han Jin Oh, Sunyoung Hong, Kwon Hyun-Tai, Jeong Gong Chul, Pastor Kim, Lee Chong Hwa, my families.