Jesse Chun Jesse Chun

intangible heritage



a still from

Intangible Heritage, 2018, single-channel, 2:57 mins, with sound (contact to view)


Intangible Heritage is a karaoke video essay featuring an electronic version of Arirang, a traditional Korean folk song estimated to be over two thousand years old. The project samples the song's melody, lyrics, translation, and audio records of its qualification for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The video however, does not ensure the following about the song:

b. ‘that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize [it] as part of their cultural heritage’;
c. that it is being ‘transmitted from generation to generation, [and] is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history’;
d. that it provides communities and groups involved with ‘a sense of identity and continuity’; and
e. that it is not incompatible with ‘existing international human rights instruments as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development’.

and also --

(ii) Who are the bearers and practitioners of the element? Are there any specific roles or categories of persons with special responsibilities for the practice and transmission of the element? If yes, who are they and what are their responsibilities?(iii) How are the knowledge and skills related to the element transmitted today? (iv) What social and cultural functions and meanings does the element have today for its community?

(v) Is there any part of the element that is not compatible with existing international human rights instruments or with the requirement of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, or with sustainable development?

(i) How can inscription of the element on the Representative List contribute to the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage in general and raise awareness of its importance at the local, national and international levels?(ii) How can inscription encourage dialogue among communities, groups and individuals?(iii) How can inscription promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity?

- Excerpts from the document, CONVENTION FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE
INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE
NOMINATION FILE NO. 00445
FOR INSCRIPTION ON THE REPRESENTATIVE LIST OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY