Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton Presents Silver through the Grass like Nothing

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Pictured Above: Princeton Arts Fellow yuniya edi kwon will present her solo work-in-progress, silver through the grass like nothing, at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts, January 31 Photo Credit: Hannah Turner Harts.

The presentation of a new work-in-progress by Princeton Arts Fellow yuniya edi kwon

takes place January 31, 2024



Princeton, NJ – The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present silver through the grass like nothing, a new solo work-in-progress by Princeton Arts Fellow yuniya edi kwon. The performance on January 31 at 8:00 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The Hearst Dance Theater is an accessible venue with wheelchair accessible/companion seating locations and assistive listening system. Guests in need of other access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least one week in advance at LewisCenter@princeton.edu.  

kwon is a violinist, vocalist, and interdisciplinary artist whose practice connects composition, improvisation, movement, and ceremony to explore transformation and transgression, ritual practice as a tool to queer ancestral lineage, and the use of mythology to connect, obscure, and reveal. As a composer-performer and improviser, she is inspired by Korean folk timbres and inflections, textures and movement from natural environments, and American experimentalism as shaped by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Her work as a choreographer and movement artist embodies an expressive release and reclamation of colonialism’s spiritual imprints, connecting to both Japanese Butoh and a lineage of queer trans practitioners of Korean shamanic ritual. She is a United States Artists Ford Fellow, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Awardee in Music/Sound, Van Lier Fellow & Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium, Johnson Fellow at Americans for the Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Hermitage Fellow, and a recipient of the National Performance Network Creation Fund Award. Her work was described as “absolutely stunning” in a feature in Wire Magazine, and she was listed as one of the Washington Post’s “22 for ‘22: Composers and performers to watch this year.”

In silver through the grass like nothing, kwon stretches her capacities as a solo performer, creating an immersive world of sound, welcome and unwelcome shadows, entangled gazes, and fluid voices, within which she journeys as both messenger and message. The piece is a ritual convergence of continuums, including embodied story-singing, experimental music-theater, and emergent movement. She notes that connecting to the history of pearl relics (sari) and their keepers, as well as the true story of her “sudden, sibylline illnesses” and their accompanying medical traumas, silver through the grass like nothing is an impressionistic, bardo-like meditation on sickness, grief, and the body’s incessant pull toward transformation. The piece was created with dramaturgical support from Du Yun with lighting design by Maggie Heath. This is an early, in-process performance. The complete work will premiere in March 2025 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York.

The performance will be followed by an audience Q&A led by Assistant Professor of Music Nathalie Joachim.

The Arts Fellows program provides support for early-career artists who have demonstrated both extraordinary promise and a record of achievement in their fields with the opportunity to further their work while teaching within a liberal arts context. Funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the David E. Kelley ’79 Society of Fellows Fund, and the Maurice R. Greenberg Scholarship Fund, fellows are selected for a two-year residency to teach a course each semester or, in lieu of a course, to undertake an artistic assignment that deeply engages undergraduate students, such as directing a play, conducting a musical ensemble, or choreographing a dance piece. Fellows are expected to be active members of the University’s intellectual and artistic community while in residence, and in return, they are provided with the resources and spaces necessary for their work. Last fall kwon taught the course, “The Ceremony is You,” an exploration of ritual and ceremony as creative, interdisciplinary spaces imbued with intention and connected to personal and cultural histories, which she will teach again in the spring semester. 

Visit the Lewis Center website for more information on this event, the Lewis Center, Princeton Arts Fellowships, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, and lectures offered each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of them free.

Read it First, Subscribe to Our Newsletter