I Ying Wu I-Ying Wu

Qimprov Ground

I-Ying Wu is an improvisation practitioner and researcher. She was awarded her MA from the National Taiwan University of the Arts in 2006 and a PhD in the performing arts from the University of Northampton, UK in 2014. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Improvisation Studies Centre based in the Faculty of Media, Art and Performance, University of Regina during 2016-2017. Her research on improvisation began from her Masters project that investigated the history of dance improvisation and the cultural meaning of Contact Improvisation within the sociocultural context of Taiwan. Her doctoral thesis, Being Formless: A Daoist Movement Practice, employs practice-as-research methodology to explore the ambiguity of the unknown as characterised in Daoism, how Daoist perspectives on qi-energy are manifest through in-between states of being and the transformation of the self. During her PhD, she developed, based on a Daoist perspective of qi, a somatic movement practice that relies on improvised movement as a pathway towards understanding the Dao (Way). Building on this, her postdoctoral project rethinks the concept of improvisation from a Daoist perspective in order to fill a gap between Western concepts and those from her own cultural perspective and embodied experience of qi. Through a series of heart/mind “detachment” in her creative process resonating with her embodied experience of Daoist meditative practices, she holds that improvisation is not a form of art but rather is something within our being, a subtle reaction to the self and surroundings, which needs to be rigorously trained to dwell within our heart/mind so that we may experience, realise, and understand.