The first Tiger and Bear performance took part from the 28th-29th February 2009 on Nami Island as an unofficial inclusion to INDIFEST-BE-NAMI-BE-FREE. A limited edition of 100 art works were distributed to visitors of the island during the performance. These consisted of small transparent pots each containing an individual clove of garlic, a clipping of mugwort, and a piece of paper with a red ink rubber stamp Nakwon brandishing the Hangol words “곰호랑이” (bear Tiger). Colin (Bear) once described them as “mould museums” which has kind of stuck.
The performance was accompanied by a loud, highly distorted and slightly aggressive sounding sound piece which repeated the phrase “manool sook!’ “마늘쑥” through a portable amplifier, reminiscent of the fruit and veg vans we had encountered upon first arriving in Korea.
Nami Island is a very small island located in Bangha-ri, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si. It takes roughly 10 minutes to walk the whole stretch of the island. There are no roads or cars, however visitors can use various readily available modes of transport to explore the island. Whizzing around on electric scooters or laboriously trudging along on a tandem, we set about attempting to blend in with the crowd and enjoy the ‘visual theme park’ photo opportunity aesthetic experience whilst sharing our commemorative gifts.
By the end of the performance we had fallen in love with the Island and was very sad to leave. We were given official Namisun citizenship in the form of Nami Island passports, and found ourselves taking home two remaining editioned artworks which happen to be labeled #4 and #44, the number 4 is regarded as an unlucky number in Korea.