My artistic voice is product of three influential parts of my life:
First, I was born in Korea and immigrated to a small town in Oregon when I was three. Growing up as one of the few Asian Americans in my community, I always felt I had to somehow cover up being Korean. Hide my culture: the sounds, smells, and customs. As an adult, my art searches to reclaim these buried parts of my identity, both as a Korean and as an immigrant American. Examining gender and the female experience as part of culture is also important to my work. In all of the six theater pieces I have created, representing the Korean American female experience is the central thematic inspiration.
Second, as an artist I draw inspiration from my study of jazz music. Throughout college I played the saxophone and performed with several jazz ensembles. When I first moved to New York I worked in many jazz clubs where I was inspired by the musician’s ability to improvise collectively. Currently, I am interested in finding a way to structure my performance pieces in the spirit of jazz music and examine the question of how theater artists might play with theme, variation, collaboration, and improvisation in the same way.
Third, as an artist I am in search of how to combine my years of movement training (gymnastics, martial arts, dance) into a vocabulary for choreographic storytelling. In my earlier career I wrestled with keeping my freelance acting life separate from the movement training and choreography I was creating in the gym and studio. In the last few years, my artistic ambitions have turned to the pursuit of creating a style of “dance” movement that is not based in the vocabulary of modern dance or ballet, but rather stems from the combination of other movement forms. I believe that in these alternative expressions of movement lies a rich and unique form of dance that does not draw form pedestrian gestures, but from already existent codified forms. In these forms potential for new structures of storytelling for the theater may be found. And though I'm not classically trained, I feel my artistic best when communicating story through movement. As I am finding my way in my journey to create original work, I draw the most inspiration from dance theatre artists like William Forsythe and Pina Bausch, whose work transcend conventions of genre to create new theatrical worlds where dance, theatre, music/sound, and visual art are seamlessly interwoven. As performer, and creator this is what excites me most.