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WSD2017|The Last Empress
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Professional Designers

South Korea

Hyun Sook Kim

The Last Empress

Selected Category: Costume Design

Category: Costume Design

Design Statement

The Last Empress was the first original mega-spectacle musical in Korea presented in Broadway and London's West End. It has celebrated the 20th anniversary performances in July 28, 2015 to September 10, 2015, with the new design updates and double casting. My costume design of The Last Empress is to create new dynamic forms of stage costumes in our present theatre space. My design approach has multiple facets in artistic metamorphosis: re-composition of costume lines and shapes which exaggerates the established pattern of form, transformation of senses of mass and volume, new combination of colors as well as cubic substitution of texture and open utilization of fabric materials, experimentation in ways of construction, and so on. Through these methods, I have made a sincere and successful attempt to create new costume modes by modernizing traditional elements and reconstructing costume structure/composition in a purposeful and selective way to dramatize the production’s concept and style artistically. In this context, my design of The Last Empress aimed at refined Korean court costumes dramatized with modern sensitivity by means of exaggerated forms and silhouette as much as rich, solemn colors and deep, heavy texture .
-Hyun Sook Kim-

Hyun Sook Kim

I have been a professional costume designer and university professor over two decades. I was trained in costume design with two graduate degrees— M.F.A. terminal degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the professional training center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in USA and M.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in USA. At present, I am holding a professorship in costume design at Ball State University in USA. Professionally, I have designed costumes for many large-scale productions in the multiple genres and diverse styles for both Western and Asian theatres—drama, musical, dance, opera, and outdoor plays. Many of my costume designs have been seen in prestigious big international theatres (such as the National Theatre of Korea, Seoul Arts Center, Melbourne State Theatre, etc.) and well-known American theatres. Particularly, my costume design for the mega-scale musical production, The Last Empress, with over 600 costumes I had built, has been presented at the New York Lincoln Center, at the LA Kodak Theatre and the LA Schubert Theatre, and at the Toronto Hummingbird Center, as well as in London’s West End. In 2015, the production has celebrated its 20th year anniversary of performance and the long-run success, with updates. Especially, it was selected for the cover page of the theatre book 'Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre' edited by the theatre scholar, Dr. Samuel L. Leiter. Recently in 2015, my costume designs have been selected and presented in the costume design exhibition, 'Costume at the Turn of the Century 1990-2015,' at the A. A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum in Moscow, Russia. In January 2016, I have designed a World Premiere show, A DREAM OF RED PAVILIONS, at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York City, which was directed by the artistic director Tisa Chang. The design was highly praised by many New York theatre critics including in The New York Times. Most recently, with the great reviews, I have finished my costume design CAMELOT successfully for the LORT theatre, New York Capital Repertory Theatre. I am a professional member of USITT, OISTAT and CDG (Costume Design Group).
-Hyun Sook Kim-

Email Address: kscostume@bsu.edu

Theatre Company Arts Communications Company

The Premiere Date of Production 2015-07-28

The Premiere Space of Production Seoul Arts Center Opera Theater

Author Mun Yol Yi

Director/ Choreographer Ho Jin Yun/ Byung Goo Seo

Set Designer Dong Woo Park

Lighting Designer Hyung O Choi

Costume Designer Hyun Sook Kim

Sound Designer Ki Young Kim