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The Power of Quiet

by Karen Saillant

As printed in the Fall 2008 issue of Surface Design Journal

Last August, the costumes and sets for a new opera, Romeo et Giulietta, arrived at an eighteenth century theater in Città della Pieve, a walled medieval town on a hillside in Umbria, Italy. The response would be much like the last time the work of a quiet South Korean artist came into town. Then, the citizens came to Teatro Avvaloranti far in advance of opening night. They had heard that an unusual piece of art was running the length of their theater, and they were curious. Some sat down and gazed without speaking for hours. Others pointed and whispered conversation. The work gave pause. It excited. It calmed. It shared a sense of pleasure and joy. It was the backdrop for the 2006 world premiere of the opera La Tempesta. Some saw hurricanes. Others, webs. Others, suns. Still others felt the waves of the tempest reaching out at them. It stimulated the imagination and offered a sense of peace and calm.

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