14 Nov 2018

The Korean adventures begin! Our first ‘We Built This City’ in Seoul.

Polyglot’s relationship with Korea has grown strong over the years, we have toured there many times and made some wonderful friends. This has led to a love of Korean culture and food that some of us carry very strongly, myself included.
It started with a tour of ‘Checkout’ in 2010 but this was the first time we took a big show to the Performing Arts Market Seoul (PAMS) to blow minds and showcase the awesomeness of the cardboard city. Bronwyn and I flew over from Orange County, where we had just experienced the infamous “it never rains in California” season of WBTC. Lachlan and Dan followed a couple of days later and this was the first time we worked with Paul Matthews, who is based in Seoul. He speaks the language, can enlighten us to the culture and is a lovely, fiendish man with a wicked sense of humour.
He fit right in.
Now, having just travelled from Melbourne to LA to Seoul in the space of a week my body clock was…confused. With 2 days to set up, I was travelling to the site at dawn and taking a very deep ‘nap’ after lunch. We had been given a forecourt near the National Theatre of Korea, with a little gentle inquiry we were allowed to move our site right in front of the building! Front and centre, with every delegate of PAMS, and a good deal of the general public, walking right past us.
With a team of enthusiastic locals and a backdrop of mountains and the famous Namsan tower we created an amazing entrance with a couple of traditional Janseung rendered in cardboard, Korean lettering and the Polyglot letters made as three-dimensional blocks. It was so much fun!
Jet-lag, dawn light, kim-chi and hot glue inspired us to make an amazing looking site, testing out some ideas that would later become standard features, like making lettering in local language.
The kids did what they do best, building and demolishing, delegates from the Arts Market came through, dodging falling boxes and being roped in to build. Kids spoke to us in Korean and we got chased around and given cool drinks from kind parents. We were exhausted and elated when it was all done, having firmly established what it is that Polyglot does best.
We made an impression, so much so that we returned many times to play and marvel in this wonderful city, and beyond.

  • Mischa Long

Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.