Program Type: 
Dohee Lee: ARA Gut (Ritual of Ocean)
May 31, 2014


Dohee Lee: ARA Gut (Ritual of Ocean)
Jul 20, Jan 18 & May 31
Various locations in and around YBCA

“I passionately believe by practicing art we can commune with spirits to express and share our thoughts and ideas on vital issues such as identity, politics, nature, and spirituality.” —Dohee Lee

ARA Gut (Ritual of Ocean) is a cycle of three work-in-progress pieces created and performed by San Francisco performance artist Dohee Lee, presented by YBCA.

Dohee Lee’s performance rituals aim to heal the urban disconnect between nature and human. The project utilizes the mudang’s (Korean shaman) ancient vocation as communal healer to create a new role for the modern shaman in the Bay Area. "Ara" is a Korean word with various meanings including "ocean” and “eye"—symbols of rebirth and wisdom. These rituals are meant to evoke the regenerative power of the ocean as the energizing force behind life and the cycle of rebirth. All ARA Gut performances are community rituals. They are free and the public is invited to participate.

Sat, May 31, 1–2:30 PM, Spring: Water Ritual
Grand Lobby

Dohee Lee: Voice and Movement
Adria Otte: Electronics, violin
Suki O’Kane: Electronics
Edward Schocker: Glass and Sho
With special guests: “Glass singers”

Sat, Jan 18, 2014, Noon–8 PM, Winter: Mago
Front Door Gallery

Dohee Lee: voice
Adria Otte: electronics/violin
Suki O’Kane: electronics
Marshall Trammell: percussionist

Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 4–6 PM, Summer: Invited Ritual, YBCA Grand Lobby
Adria Otte: Electronics, violin
Suki O’Kane: Electronics, percussion
Dohee Lee: Electronics, percussion and voice

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  • Summer: Invited Ritual
    Jul 20, 2013 3:00pm – 5:00pm
    Grand Lobby
  • Winter: Mago
    Jan 18, 2014 12:00pm – 8:00pm
    Front Door Gallery

    Winter Mago is a contemplative, interactive day long ritual. Entering the Front Door Gallery, audience members will encounter Dohee Lee and three other musicians who engage each individual in conversation, soliciting a wish or prayer to which they will create a musical offering. Periodically, there will also be interactive activities in the Grand Lobby, such as simple mask-making, and additional music and dance. Audiences are invited to watch all or part of the eight-hour performance and/or enter into the ritual space to engage in private conversation and singing with Dohee Lee.

  • Spring: Water Ritual
    May 31, 2014 1:00pm – 2:30pm
    Grand Lobby

    Spring: Water Ritual celebrates the regenerative power of the ocean as the energizing force behind life and the cycle of rebirth. Myths and rituals about the ocean are abundant where Dohee Lee grew up, on Jeju Island in Korea. This ritual honors all of our ancestors who came to this land and the waterways that connect us through different places and times.

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Artist Bio

Dohee Lee
Born on Jeju Island in South Korea, Dohee Lee studied Korean dance, music, percussion, and vocals at the master level. Since her arrival in the U.S. she has been a vital contributor to both the traditional and contemporary arts landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Lee’s work focuses on integration of traditional forms and contemporary arts through music, movement, images, costumes, and installations. Her distinctive and profound performance style evokes the full spectrum of human emotion, the primordial, futuristic, visible, and invisible realms. A review that appeared in the Chicago Tribune stated, “Lee unfurled an extraordinary lexicon of vocal colors, tones, and textures. Yet she deftly controlled these otherworldly sounds … with her sinuous, thoroughly personalized one-woman choreography, self-styled art form."

Born out of her desire to explore new art forms, Lee founded the Puri Project in 2004 to present interdisciplinary works that embrace the ritualistic and healing aspects of performance. She was the recipient of the Isadora Duncan Special Award honoring Outstanding Achievement for her piece FLUX, performed at YBCA in 2008. She has performed in venues and festivals around the world and has collaborated with a wide range of artists such as dancers/choreographers Anna Halprin, Shinichi Iova-Koga’s inkBoat, Amara Tabor-Smith, Sherwood Chen, Yannis Adoniou’s Kunst-Stoff, the Degenerate Art Ensemble, Sue Li-Jue’s Facing East Dance and Music, and musicians/composers ETHEL, Larry Ochs, Scott Amendola, Joan Jeanrennaud, Theresa Wong, Francis Wong, and Tatsu Aoki. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, the Watermill Center in New York (with the Degenerate Art Ensemble), the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Paul Dresher Artist Residency Center, and the Montalvo Arts Center. In 2010, she appeared at Carnegie Hall with Kronos Quartet, performing her original composition Sinawi and at Teatro Municipal de Lima in Peru with Pauchi Sasaki and Collective (((OIE))) "MURU." A commitment to teaching is also encompassed in her artistic vision. Lee acted as artistic director and instructor at the Korean Youth Cultural Center from 2002 to 2008, resident artist and instructor at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center from 2008 to 2011, and has been a guest instructor at San Francisco State University, Saint Mary’s College, UC Berkeley, and Northern Illinois University.

Adria Otte
Adria Otte is a multi-instrumentalist whose primary focus has been on violin and guitar. She has performed in ensembles ranging from string quartets to rock bands to free improvisation groups. Her teachers have included Joan Tower, Richard Teitelbaum, Kyle Gann, Brenda Hutchinson, and the Colorado Quartet. She currently collaborates with Dohee Lee, performs with Bob Marsh’s Emergency String (X)tet, and plays with several rock bands. She also performs traditional Korean percussion music with Jamaesori, an Oakland-based all-women drumming group.

Suki O’Kane
Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, a composer, and an instigator working with artists from a wide array of music, movement, and public art genres. One of the founding members of the lo-fi sampling ensemble The Noodles (with Michael Zelner), plays percussion with Moe! Staiano's Moe!kestra!, Dan Plonsey's Daniel Popsicle, Big City Orchestra, and is an ensemble member of Thingamajigs performing new works by Edward Schocker, Dylan Bolles, and Zachary Watkins.

Marshall Trammell
Raised on Oahu, Hawaii, Marshall Trammell is an interdisciplinary Artist and Creative Music percussionist who has created a role for himself as a teaching-artist and Music Research Strategist and is an active participant in the Bay Area's Social Justice and Creative Music movements for about 20 years. He has developed a multi-limbed improvisation system for drum set as a platform to articulate his commitment to the study of the worlds’ percussive arts in his multi-aesthetic approach to improvisation and structures of social change.

Bada Saekki
Bada Saekki is a muak pae-mudang music group. The pae (group) will help stage this healing gut at YBCA, drawing on Korean farmer rhythms and village rituals and featuring the Woodo beats of the southeastern region of Korea. Musicians include: Codie Otte on Jing and Buk; Yeri Shon and Saeun Skim on Janku; Miriam Yoon Louie on Bara and Kkwaengari; Liz Suk on Jing; and Adria Otte on Kkwaengari and Bara. Bada Saekki members currently play with Oakland-based Jamaesori/SisterSound and have trained in music and village rituals with Korean Cultural Center in Oakland and teachers in Pilbong Village, North Cholla Province, Korea.

Edward Schocker
Edward Schocker is a composer and performer who creates music with made/found materials and alternate tuning systems. He studied composition at Mills College with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and independently with Lou Harrison. Edward composed music for a UNESCO-sponsored work with Echo Arts—a large bicommunal project in Cyprus that helped build understanding between communities in conflict. His other collaborations in dance/theatre include multiple works with U.K. director Angus Balbernie: Mud Wings (2001), Nine Days on Dark Water (2002) and Sassantedue (2003).

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Performance 13-14 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 13-14:
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts