Kaisen, as another incarnation of Bari, was born on Jeju Island and forced into exile, then grew up in Denmark. In this work, she juxtaposes her own exile experience with Bari's first death. Then through the shaman’s chanting rituals, she has called into being a habitable space for poetry and song, where other contemporary Baris—people who were exiled from Jeju to Kazakhstan, Japan, China, Germany and the United States since 2015—were summoned. Here, Bari does not function as a mythological symbol. Instead, Bari, as a method or emotion, becomes a linguistic tool in the discourse about a special way to mediate and exist in the world. Throughout the film, “Bari” develops into an overall narrative of history, culture and social fractures on different temporal-spatial scales, covering the world of the living and the dead. Especially, it conveys the complexities of violence in Korean history, including the community of people who were deported by the Soviet Union from the Far East in 1937 and the community of Koreans in Japan who immigrated and settled during Japanese colonial rule in the 1920s.
Community of Parting is not a partial documentation of the shaman ritual. On the contrary, it re-realizes mythology in the broader context of Korean modernity, because it tells the story from before the nationalist fracture. Traditionally, mythology is understood as a story about piety, but this work interprets mythology from a feminist perspective while exploring the meanings of Bari as death and rebirth. Here, the soul and spirit of Bari has replaced modern image production technologies such as cameras and lenses. When she gazes firmly upon the sea of Jeju, the intertwined waves, forests and the sky meet each other, and the imagery contains many layers of visuality, time, and space. When Bari, the mythological character, is transformed into an abstract concept, a soundscape and aerial image from the ocean, forest, barren land and national borders, her experiences of displacement become a river of images that echoes with mythology. In a scene in this film, she stretches her arms towards the sky and rotates her body. The camera, fixed on a drone towering into the clouds, is surveying Jeju Island. As the artist gradually disappears, the land and the sky become one. From the origins of the gaze, we look down at these unbounded spaces, watching all life forms intertwine and coexist. In this way, the wilderness once again interprets Bari’s spirit, and the island floating amidst the sea becomes a metaphor, allowing us to reinterpret death and rebirth in life and in politics.