The first filming location for the Andong video shoot, which began on the 27th of May and lasted for two days, was the Hahoe Mask Museum. The museum not only collects and exhibits Tal(Korean masks), but masks from all over the world. Jazz(USA) and Bart(The Netherlands) had the opportunity to look at different masks and learn about the Hahoe Mask, a mask used during the Hahoe Byeolsingut Talnori(special ritual drama to the gods) which they got to watch later.
Next, they visited the workshop of the director of the Hahoe Mask Museum, Kim Dong Pyo, who also makes masks. Watching the mask maker at work, they were able to briefly learn about his life. In the past, he was a performer for the Hahoe Byeolsingut Talnori and is an authority in the art of mask making, which is the 69th proclaimed Intangible Cultural heritage in Korea. It takes 4 to 5 days of deliberation and several revision processes to finish carving a single mask. They were in awe at the amount of effort he put into promoting and exhibiting Korean masks while traveling around the world.
Afterward, Jazz and Bart visited the Talnori Training Center to watch a performance of the Byeolsingut Talnori. A ‘Gut’ is a ritual ceremony performed when praying for a good harvest and peace in the village. In the Byeolsingut Talnori, performers will carry out a dance while wearing masks as a shamanistic means of asking for the well-being and prosperity of the village. Following the performance, Jazz and Bart also learned the masked dance from the initiates.
After leaving the training center, the cast took a trek around the corners of the Hahoe Folk Village. The origin of the name of the village comes from the Chinese characters ‘Hahoe’ (河回) which describe how the Nakdong river seemingly surrounds the town and flows through it. The Samsindang, located in the center of the village, is a sacred place for the townspeople, where they frequently hold rituals for the prosperity of the village. The 600 year-old Zelkova tree and the fence encircling the tree, decorated with ‘wish cloths’, is an impressive sight. When you are visiting Hahoe village, how about making a wish from your heart in front of the shrine?
Jazz and Bart are filming in front of the stone wall in Hahoe Folk Village. The Hahoe village is a clan village for the Pungsan Ryu family. As a community that has preserved the Confucian Yangban(traditional ruling class) culture of the Joseon Dynasty for more than 600 years, Hahoe Folk Village is considered to be “the most Korean village” in Korea. It is also famous for having been visited by Queen Elizabeth of England during her trip to Korea.
On the second day, the cast visited the Korean Studies Institute to take a look at the Confucian Printing Woodblocks and Archives of the National Debt Redemption Movement, which are registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. The Korean Studies Institute is a specialized research institute that collects, preserves, and researches artifacts of Korean studies. The cast members were able to examine many documents up close in the depository and had fun learning about documentary heritages through various digital activities and experiencing woodblock printing.
They even had the unique opportunity of having a “Beautiful Grandma Storyteller” tell a story of the singing rehearsal of Haksansu, the most celebrated singer during the Joseon Dynasty; a story that encompasses Confucian ideologies of Korea. While the ‘Beautiful Grandma Storyteller’ program is generally intended for children, it was an immersive and educational experience for adults and foreigners alike.