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Radovan Dranga


Jaha Koo

A bittersweet portrait of the life of a young Korean with three rice cookers of the popular brand Cuckoo which talk, argue and sing songs. Atypical and disconcerting.


Another friend of Jaha Koo has just committed suicide. The voice of his rice cooker announces that his meal is ready. He feels oddly comforted—he is not alone. Cuckoo is the name of a popular brand of household appliances. Onstage three rice cookers talk, argue and sing songs. This atypical stage presentation crystallizes the solitude generated by technological progress as it portrays a panorama of the economic and social debacle of South Korea.

Twenty years ago, a huge financial crisis shook the country. Bankruptcies, massive debt loads, an entire generation unable to find work, no future and no hope. Surrounded by Cuckoo appliances, symbols of the industrial success of his native land, and by powerful archival images, the artist paints a bittersweet portrait of the life of a young Korean. An unsparing analysis of a society that has embraced capitalism and now suffers the consequences of out-of-control growth. After the rush, disillusioned days to come.


Produced by Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek
Executive Producer CAMPO
Concept, direction, text, music and video Jaha Koo
Performed by Hana + Duri + Seri + Jaha Koo
Cuckoo Hacking Idella Craddock
Set Design and Media Operation Eunkyung Jeong
Dramaturgical Advisor Dries Douibi

Coproduction Bâtard Festival (Brussels)
With the support of CAMPO (Ghent) + STUK (Leuven) + BUDA (Kortrijk) + DAS (Amsterdam) + Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture + Noorderzon – Grand Theatre Groningen + Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (Brussels)

Presented in association with Place des Arts + Centre Phi

Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at Steirischer Herbst, Graz, on October 5, 2017



Jaha Koo (Seoul + Amsterdam)

Born (1984) and raised in South Korea, the performance artist Jaha Koo attended university there before moving to Holland, where he obtained a Master’s degree in theatre studies in Amsterdam.

Full biography