Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Story of A Girl: Luster of Jade: Poetry, Painting And Music by: Catherine Yi-yu Cho Woo

"Split pea soup
                       One small can
                                            My love shared with me
 So rapidly
               We drank
                                       Holding hands
                                                             From a
 Before it leaked away............."

         As Dr. Catherine Yi-yu Cho Woo shared this split pea soup with her lover, I would like to share some of her soul-searching works with you. Dr. Woo was born in Beijing, China to a family of scholars. For much of her youth she spent moving around China until her family finally settled in Hong Kong in 1949.
figure 1: Ch'i (Life Force)
          Dr. Woo later traveled abroad to America in order to obtain a degree in Architecture at the University of Illinois. After she met her husband, Peter Woo, at the University of Illinois they decided to move to San Diego, California (at the time, not knowing that this would be the beginning of a very spontaneous life-long journey). This is where she began studying art and literature at San Diego State University, and afterwards UCLA for her masters degree. Finally, she ended up at the University of San Francisco for her doctorate.
          After having received multiple teaching awards in the early 1990's, Dr. Woo's lecture, Luster of Jade: Poetry,Painting And Music, was published in 1992. Throughout this published lecture in book form, she is able to capture herself within the various artistic outlets presented in the composition.  In just 45 pages, Dr. Woo reaches out to various audiences ranging from scholarly to mainstream. She poises her works with a certain je ne sais quoi that leaves her audience in awe and wonder of what lies between the caves and crevices of Chinese art, poetry, and music.            

figure 2: "Tian Tian Tian Lan"
According to a reviewer, "to stand in front of Dr. Woo's work is to experience the stirrings of the heart, mind, and soul of nature, as if the paintings are alive.” This goes for not only her artwork, but her poetry, and musical compositions as well. Figure 2, on the left,  s musical collaboration between Professor Lin Yun, Professor Leo Chen, and Dr. Woo. This song became an instant hit in Taiwan and is featured (along with its translation) within the book as well. It serves as one of the many ways Dr. Woo is able to take our breath away! So what are you waiting for? Find yourself in the very contemporary works of Dr. Woo with just a click of a button!