Mother Night

22 May 2013 text Dannie Nikolova
Yozmit is your self-given name and it means something special. What’s the meaning of it?
Bringing out the big 'I' within, creating myth about one's self

What you’ve been up to lately?
Traveling/touring for shows in Korea, London, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and recording an (music) album

What does art mean to you?
Art is life, life is art. Every moment of our lives, we create. Without us even knowing…whether it is good or bad or neutral. Art is like a natural expression of being. Maybe there's a struggle aspect of art which might look like a fight…the fact that we have to make something, we have to do something to express something, we have to make an effort or sweat for it. It takes energy.
It is extremely human to struggle but that is what makes channeling divine possible. To me, that transformative power is art. From human to divine.

The first time you realized creativity was something you couldn't live without?
When I am hungry, I have to eat something. cooking is the creative way to sort out that fundamental problem.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
When I want to make something…I just make something without sketching or thinking about it. Always action first and then I let my brain follow thru.
Taking action is the secret to creation. Reminds me of one of my teacher Rachel Rosenthal's famous word - "doing by doing".

What are you trying to communicate with your art?
My own unique experience as a human being living in this particular time,
my question, my joy, my frustration, my struggle, my light and my darkness, my male and my female…my inner saint and my inner sinner…all aspect of who I am being. Who am I? What am I? Answer to this fundamental question is always a mystery to me but I like that place of mystery and paradox. It is like looking at the stars in the dark sky in the middle of the desert. It makes me feel something really sublime and beautiful but I am not really sure why it is making me feel that way. It is something we cannot process with our brain. That is what I am trying to communicate with my art. The beauty of mystery and sound from the unknown

Are there any questions you try to answer through the art?
Question itself is the art. And question itself is the answer. Art is the ground where those two duality meets. Always coming from that place of mystery and unknown.

How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Geisha monk meets warrior queen meets earthy shaman with alien?!

Whom you consider a style icon?
Jesus or Buddha or other enlightened being. They have a very highly developed sense of style without trying too hard.

What you consider a fashion faux-pas?
Focusing too much on out look of everything. Superficiality. Fashion can be very deep and profound

 What do you think there is too much of, and too little of?
Something that has surprised you recently is…so much of 'suffering' and 'ignorance' and so less of 'awareness' and 'compassion'.

In Bulgaria you will present two performances (with Alek Sandar and The Walk)– tell us more about them.

I will actually show three kinds of performance. The Walk is the durational slow meditative walk in space with fully covered monochromatic costumes. Performed either solo or as a group walk. This is the form of performance where my art practice meets spiritual practice. Walk is done in many different public spaces in LA, New York, Las Vegas, Josuha Tree, Miami Beach, Pere LaChaise (paris), chunchoen (s. korea ) etc. I'd like to walk north korea sometime soon. A
Abstract cabaret performance - this is the genre where performance art meets commercial club performance. Visual/performance/audio(scene/action/voice) combination this will be performed solo or with Alek Sander.
Improvisation…surprise impromptu performances…maybe a little preview from my album…who knows

Many people see clubbing and nightlife as nothing more than fun and drugs. But there are others who take this lifestyle to an artistic level. Where does clubbing and art/style meet?
My background is in arts but I do a lot of night life performances. I see night life as a from of modern day 'ritual'. It is shamanistic and there's something very special and mysterious about performing at night or just night time. it is magical and transformative and sexy. I want to bring in something very academic into night life. Meeting of day and night. Also meeting of Apollinian and Dionysian energy

You are also a singer – what kind of music you do?
I studied traditional Korean singing (form of pansori) and I love electronic music so I combine these two element in a pop dance music. I called these genre 'transcendental pop/shamanistic pop', for example, I incorporate ancient Buddhist chanting and pop dance music in multi language set up. I am trying to channel high frequency transcendentalism thru pop music channel. This is part of my healing art project. Using pop as a channel to reach out to mass audience for transmission of this energy. I believe that music is the easiest way to get into people's mind and influence. That is why it is so powerful

If you were a sound, that sound would probably be…
I will be the sound of a new 'vision'

The first record you bought with your own money was…
Either Boy George or Madonna

What you listen to lately? Any discovers?
Brian Eno. Noir Désir from Paris. I listened to them while I was traveling through Death Valley and it was quite divine.

What good energy means to you?
Good energy is good vibration and good flow…something natural and unforced. Like the warmth of the sunlight reflected onto my skin kinda feeling. Can never do wrong. Like a good loaf of bread or a good song or conversation with a good friend or a lover.

What you would be doing if you didn’t have your current occupation?
A Buddhist monk or a Geisha

In addition to your work as an artist, you are a zen practioner and an activist for HIV/AIDS prevention and transgender civil rights. How you combine all those things?

I have been doing meditation practice for a long time and I recently realized that every moment of my life is a meditation. Just like I said art is life. To me there's no separation. Art/life/meditation…all in one. I don't like to separate things. Like this is art and this is something and that is something, etc
As a practioner of Buddhism, (btw, I don't consider myself as Buddhist. To me, this is beyond the realm of religion. It is more of a science.) I practice what Buddha actually taught. In Buddhism, there's is this deity (bodhisattva = enlightened being) called 'kwan se um bosal' in Korean, in Sanskrit it is 'avalokitesvara' meaning 'one who hears all suffering of the world' and this being is neither male or female and her/his thing is about 'compassion'. This being will lead all sentient being to the enlightened world first and she/he will enter after everyone is saved. My work as an artist is to channel this energy and I believe there are too much suffering in the realm of gender. I want to bring light into this ignorant subject when it comes to transgender issue. I do believe that we are all human, whether they are male or female or gay or straight or bi whatever…To me, what really matters is we are all human and we are all connected. We are bigger than our gender and label/categories. I do believe that I am a woman and a man and all of the above in-between. and so you are. That is why we all are divine. This is the divine quality but mis-interpreted and degraded as tranny or transgender etc. I wanted to transform perception around this area of understanding. My work sometimes dealing a lot with gender and duality and how to transcend that idea into next level of evolution in human consciousness. Being more open minded and compassionate about our differences rather than judging and labeling it.

Are you into politics? What do you think about the conflict between South and Nord Korea?
I am not that much into politics but I feel naturally very political due to my conflict in gender. Who I am in this world is already political and threat to some people the fact that I am the male and a female in the same body.
North and South Korea situation is really sad specially for the people in the North because they are suffering a lot more than South. I think if we are more open and understanding about our gender and duality, embracing both light and dark at the same time, we will be in a more harmonious situation when it comes to this kinda conflicted situation. I think everything starts from within oneself. If we can really embrace this duality and transcend our thinking mind to next level…this world will be a better place with less of a conflict. This is my divine duty to bring the harmony within all of us through my work as an artist to open people's mind and eyes.

What’s on your life-to-do list?
I think I mentioned above as my 'divine duty' to bring harmony in this dualistic gender division and to connect as a human, then we will suffer less from these conflicts and this world will be a better place for our children :) Being a pop star, releasing my album and sharing my work/art /performances with everybody in the world

What you would like to leave to future generation?
My songs and my stories and a school.

 

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