Ben Jeans Houghton works across film, sculpture, photography, drawing, writing, performance and installation. Through these mediums he investigates ritual and magic’s potential for transformation from multiple perspectives: the astrological, animistic, philosophical, psychological and the cinematic.

This exhibition is centred around Jeans Houghton’s film essay, SCREAMING BIRD, SINGING DAWN, RAINBOW MOUNTAIN (2020), commissioned by BALTIC. The film has been developed during the artist’s two-month BALTIC residency at the Hongti Art Center in Busan, South Korea in 2018. It explores the ritual practices of Korean shamanism the mudang (shamans) who perform them.

Divided into chapters, the film considers intersections between Korean shamanism, Buddhism, Christianity and capitalism. Interviews with mudang, monks and astrologers provide insights into alternative knowledges, which are passed down through generations. The film’s narrative also discusses broader ideas around states of consciousness, possibilities of embodiment and notions of ‘cosmogenesis’ (the origin and development of the cosmos), through the exploration of creation myths and their associated belief systems.

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