Re Oriented in Sao Paulo

soJin Chun

2010, 04:30 minutes, Colour, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish (English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish subtitles)

TAPECODE 1049.00

Re Oriented in Sao Paulo takes a light-hearted look at the complexities of immigration and cultural integration. To be Re Oriented in Sao Paulo, for the Korean community portrayed in this video, signifies re-adaptation and cultural transformation. The narrative is told whimsically, through the perspective of a Korean-style Hot Dog walking through Bom Retiro, a Korean neighbourhood. In its journey, the hot dog encounters, and interacts with locals, revealing the diversity of characters that live and work together in this area.

The title,
Re-Oriented in Sao Paulo, plays with the double interpretation of the root word, Orient. The first meaning suggests the Orient or Oriental a generalized term used to describe people of Asian descent, and interpreted in Orientalism by Edward Said. The second meaning of the verb to Orient, hence to Re-Orient, suggests the process of integration for many immigrants arriving to a new cultural context in a new geography. To be Re Oriented in Sao Paulo for the Korean community portrayed in this video signifies re-adaptation as well as the act of changing one’s own culture by introducing a new culture.

This video is part of Traffic Jam #1 in which ten International artists came together to an arts residency in Sao Paulo to create short videos responding to the city. Being a foreigner in the city with limited time, I cast a Korean-style Hot Dog, a fast-food memory from my childhood in Korea, as the main protagonist for my experimental video. In the midst of the madness of Sao Paulo, I find refuge hiding behind the Hot Dog. Though my connection to the Korean community in my home, Toronto is limited, I find comfort and familiarity in the Korean neighbourhood in Sao Paulo.

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