Massive Chats: Soo Yeun Yoo, [Gu:t] 굿


Korean choreographer/performer Soo Yeun You has collaborated with senior Torres Strait Island performer Albert David to create
[Gu:t]굿– a contemporary ritual venerating the memory of two much-loved ancestors – their grandmothers. Here are a few thoughts from Soo Yeun You about her creative journey from Korea and the relationship of her work to spirituality.

Your background is in traditional Korean dance. How has moving to Australia influenced your artistic identity and direction?

Especially at the beginning I had conflict which led me to a clash between Eastern and Western culture. Over time I have resolved the conflict – now I believe my work benefits from the fact that I can approach things from the two perspectives, reflecting [both] a more traditional Eastern philosophical approach and a more phenomenological attitude…

Can you speak a bit about your interest in Australian Indigenous arts and culture?

In Australian society there is a general acceptance of the special status of the first Australians…and there is also a widely held view of the need to develop and understand [their culture] within the cultural diversity of contemporary Australian society.

 …I was particularly affected by Australian Indigenous dance forms, which struck me as having a strong similarity to Korean shamanism with reference to the spirituality expressed. This led me to develop my previous work Reliquary and to commence the current work [Gu:t]굿.

How do you work to create an expression of spirituality in [Gu:t]굿?

…To reflect Western development into my traditional Eastern philosophy – especially re interpretation of spirituality – I am interested in approaching textural or visual input of interactive art, such as floor projection, to create [a] spiritual power of nature and movement…

The reflection of [the] human body under the mirror will be designed to transform the perception of a spiritual space in the dance ritual [Gu:t]굿.