Battered Comfort – no matter how hard I pound I will not become that rice cake

Karolina Hyun Wilting

VAV - moving image

Performance with wood, rice, plaster and water 

In Battered Comfort, my sister and I batter rice with hammers until it turns into tteok 떡 (rice cake) which we eat together with the audience. Eating tteok is a communal act which generates belonging, whereas battering it is violent and creates pressure. By pounding on the individual, society is formed  like rice grains pounded into tteok. Nevertheless, tteok is all about sharing: through violence a sense of belonging and comfort is created. Belonging and pressure exist in the same space and need each other.  

(Hammering also serves as a catharsis for my struggle of belonging in Korean culture. As a German-Korean, it is difficult to fit into my mother’s country. No matter how hard I pound, I will not become that rice cake.)

 In collaboration with my sister Katharina Sook Wilting and my mother Dong Sook Park.