Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

My work is informed by magic realism and trauma. In my plays, the gods are still alive (though negligent), animals can talk, and night creatures manifest one's deepest fears. As a child, I was drawn to fiction, folk tales, and fantasy, and as an adult, I continue to be drawn to this style of playwrighting because I believe it articulates more than any other form that stories have power. Whether they are the stories we tell ourselves to find healing by refocusing ourselves as heroes, rather than victims, or conversely, whether they are the stories that trap us in the prisons of our own minds, stories, to me, are written in the language of power. We create our own worlds, and our own imaginations are the limit.

As a queer Korean woman, and the child of immigrant parents, I draw deeply from the well of my own experiences to present characters with struggles that are reflections of those I have seen and experienced in my own life. In accordance with my identities, I have often found myself outside of the circle of power that exists within society, and I am endlessly engaged by the “other.” How does being the “other” shape our experiences? How do we overcome societal structures, and in doing so, find power – especially when we have little to begin with, or have had it taken away? How do we as minorities survive, and then thrive?

Earlier in my playwrighting career, I found myself writing from the perspective of the white experience – either by erasing or neglecting aspects of my characters' identities so as to make them colorless, or by exclusively writing white characters. As I came to realize how significant it was for me to find and consume media by other queer Asian artists, I began to see the importance of telling stories that not only reflected those of my communities, but also legitimized the truth of my own experiences. These days, I write almost exclusively through my own lens; unfortunately, I have found that while my own values regarding diversity have changed, the world at large- including the world of theater- has not. For this reason, I aspire to create work that represents a push towards more diverse and affirming theater.