My dance teacher moved away summer 2019, leaving a beautiful, spacious studio behind. Unable to accept the fact that we were going to lose our favorite dance space, two of my friends took over the lease, and turned the studio we loved into a dancers' co-op, also known as "Rhythm Juice Community Center". What used to be where we take dance lessons in now became a homebase for this small dance community. We are here to host events, run practice sessions, listen to music, social dance with our friends, play, rehearse, nap, along with many other things.
Rhythm Juice was a name our teacher left behind. We found it youthful, surprisingly accurate, a little comedic even, so we kept it. The first two versions I made kept the original "Rhythm Juice" logo from our teacher: text "RJ" in a slanted rectangle. The next two versions I developed losely based on the slanted triangle shape, but with a snapping finger (because, you know, jazz). I made the juice box design last as a joke, but surprisingly when we saw it we all loved it. The vector style was simple and playful, and the content was cute and mysterious. I mean, What even is a rhythm juice anyway? Makes you think.
Our new born co-op is an adventure for all of us, and we want to embrace this fun, uplifting energy. By solidifing all the rhythm (a-do wah!) into a paper box, we're off starting a juicy dance journey.
In 2016 I co-founded Gate Five Chinese Theater at USC with the help of some friends, in order to promote Chinese culture and language and produce accessable theatrical works for Chinese and Asian-American students alike.
The four initial members are: me (communication major), Effy (theatre major), Solax (film major) and John (literature major). We came from different schools and social circles, but somehow we were all hanging out near USC's McClintock Street Gate where the theatre school is, also known as Gate 5. In mandarin, Both "gates" and "doors" are called "Men". I decided "Wu Hao Men" (Door/Gate No.5) sounded really nice and would make a great name. First there was a name, then there came design concept, and the rest of it follows.
In the following two years as president and artistic director, I created branding and visual deliverables for various productions and general needs
Directed by Changting Lu. Projection design by Luke Wu and me.
Experimental theatre about a young M dealing with his friend's suicide. M is stuck in a memory of a conversation they had in a cafe years ago, when his friend joked about depression and his failed suicide attempt. After the friend died, M told this story over and over, trying to change his own rhetoric as if it would change his friend's death.
Using camera and live projection as an interaction tool to deal with memory and guilt, one side of the theatre wall is projected with the cafe scene where young M engages in a conversation with his friend. Live projection on the side wall is connected to a camera held by a character who embodies the haunting past, thus is free to move around the space and take closer looks at both an older M and his younger self in his memory.