Part of the Berwick New Cinema: Romanche Trench screening

Love before Bond is a fairy tale about people who have never met. Through his own experience with displacement, Kim tackles identity or cultural otherness by using explicit references to African-American literature, notably of James Baldwin; and to William Shakespeare or Franz Schubert.

The film stemmed from Kim’s interest in his millennial niece’s adolescent angst. 'As a Korean-American female, my niece tries to find herself in an existing narrative of the marginalized. This, presently in the USA, is the narrative of people of colour, which, for a teenager, is as alien as anything else—so it is for a young man of colour.' The columns in the film are a rendition of the Pleasure Pavilion (1964) by Philip Johnson, whose aesthetic path offsets Baldwin’s even though they both lived in New York City at the height of the American Civil Rights Movement.

About Sung Hwan Kim

Sung Hwan Kim was born in 1975 in South Korea. Love Before Bond was originally installed at the Venice Biennale Arte 2017, Viva Arte Viva. In 2015, Kim with David Michael DiGregorio inaugurated Asian Arts Theater, Gwangju, with their operatic theater piece, 피나는 노력으로 한 [A Woman Whose Head Came Out Before Her Name]. Kim has created two radio plays with DiGregorio, commissioned for broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk: one from in the room (2010, for which they won the Karl-Sczuka-Förderpreis), and Howl Bowel Owl (2013). His solo exhibitions include Life of Always a Mirror, Artsonje Center, Seoul (2014); Sung Hwan Kim, The Tanks at Tate Modern, London (2012); Line Wall, Kunsthalle Basel (2011); Golden Times Part 2: Sung Hwan Kim, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010); Sung Hwan Kim, Witte de With—Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2009). Kim’s most recent book, Talk or Sing (2014), is distributed by Samuso and Casco and his films have been shown at International Film Festival Rotterdam, the European Media Art Festival, and Rencontres Internationales. He was a fellow at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (2004/2005). He is a recipient of Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD (2015).

Selected filmography

Love before Bond (2017), Temper Clay (2012), Washing Brain and Corn (2010), Manahatas Dance (2009), Summer Days in Keijo—written in 1937 (2007), From the commanding heights... (2006), dog video (2006), flat white rough cut (2005), green lotte (2005), 12 minutes (2005), Her (2003), A-DA-DA (2002)