- Bomyi Go
What do region and community mean to an artist?
When playing with local residents, women, and children in Yangpyeong through arts, the tiring daily life disappears and becomes full of excitement.
We heard the story of Bomyi Go, a CEO of YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center, who brings changes in the local community and the lives of the neighbors in her own way based on passion and energy greater than anyone else.
Bomyi Go who teaches arts class at Yangpyeong Sewol Elementary School
Q. Please introduce yourself.
I’m Bomyi Go who enjoys arts with neighbors at YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center. I’m showing life stories with sisters, friends, children and local residents.
Q. What motivated you to build YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center?
I worked in Seoul and Icheon for about 15 years and in Dobong for about 5 to 6 years. But when the artist leaves, the works involving the artist eventually disappear. So I started thinking about how I can create work that harmonizes life and arts. And I finally found three answers.
First, I hoped that there would be a space close to people. Second, I hoped that there would be an artist in such a space. Third, I hoped that various activities would happen with the artist in such a space. When these three things are met, I think I can be with people through arts in their daily lives. So I established YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center 4 years ago to meet local people through arts.
YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center operated by Bomyi GO
Q. Do you have any memorable moments at the center?
There was no one when the center was first built.
Then, a president of women’s society passed by and said, “Teach me how to play Janggu!” So, I said, “Do you want to? Come visit the center”. This is how we got to play Janggu at the center. Eventually, I met a lot of people who enjoyed the arts and there were more things we could do. Five clubs were made and these clubs made a festival. It was very touching when I heard children saying “YOUANDI is very fun!” after the festival was finished. I remember that moment.
Q. What are your current concerns?
The biggest worry is how I continue to live on. For example, there is a minimum expense required to make a play with people at the center. But they can’t afford it. When the minimum expenses can’t be paid, there are limitations regarding maintaining the space or inviting artists. As a result, the reality and process of investing my income here are indeed difficult.
I believe the lives of people who have experienced arts change in a beautiful, healthy and rich manner. So, I think the most difficult part is how to manage and continue these positive changes to the future.
Jadeurak Pungmul band (Korean Folk Band) at Aecol village festival, Story Concert, 2021
Q. What drives you to continue work?
It is quite touching to see changes with my own eyes. When I started this at first, I even thought that I could starve to death. So I asked my favorite professor, “Do you think art can change the world?”. Then, the professor said, YES with glittering eyes. When I heard the answer, I started to have some kind of expectation, thinking, Huh? This old professor who has lived for about 80 years said YES. Where does such energy come from? Can art really change the world? This expectation made me continue to work to this day.
We also work with middle-aged women and at some point, we witness women communicating with their bodies and finding precious values of life through such a process. Through this discovery, I can see they are happy with their families, and also find them thinking about what to do for children in Yangpyeong and see them even making groups for children. That was when I felt hope.
And I thought, Right! I want to make people happy with art in Yangpyeong. I can do it! I want to do it! I think this hope is an energy and happiness that made me continue to do this work so far.
Q. What will you be like in 10 years?
I will be 60 then. YOUANDI(NeoyoungNayoung) is Jeju Dialect. It means you and I. My grandmother was a Haenyeo(female diver). It's in my blood. Therefore, I want to return to my hometown, Jeju, in 10 years. I want to play with the children through dramas in Jeju. I hope making a drama at that time is not my job I work for, but a play I fully enjoy. I want to play with people for the rest of my life.
*Haenyeo: female divers in the Korean province of Jeju
She is an artist who creates performances of life stories with various artistic languages such as play, song and movement with local residents in Yangpyeong. She majored in Drama/Theatre for the Young at the Korea National University of Arts and has been working on drama making centered on traditional performances from infants to the elderly. Currently, she is operating YOUANDI, a visiting drama theater and YOUANDI Yangpyeong Arts Education Center.
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