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Seoungho Cho

Scrumped, 17 min, Stereo, USA/KOR, 2016

This work is a study of meditation and ritual at a Buddhist temple in South Korea. The trance-inducing chanting underscores a harmonious union of man with nature—the cycle of death and rebirth. Images of trees in the rain and snow, a Buddhist monastery, lampoons, a monk washing his head, a Buddhist statue, monks singing. They are all connected through the performance of the ritual and depict the layered energy and ambiance of the ritual. Cho films with an extreme shallow depth of field and uses the full range of focus. The succession of images of trees, with the focus zooming through the branches, nature is mediated and transformed by the digital apparatus. The explicit montage intensifies the rhythm of the film through speeding up and slowing down; an analogy of the mind that finds its calm and is again restless and distracted. Through the up-tempo montage, the chanting of the monks and the changing focus, the video becomes a rhythmic meditation.