Kua Fu, a Chinese mythological giant, decided he would seize the sun when a summer of unbearable heat made his friends and his land suffer. Day after day, from East to West, he chased the sun. He developed such thirst that he drank all of the lakes and rivers that he could find. After he drank, he continued running, but he eventually died from thirst. Legend has it his body became mountains, and a wooden club he wielded became the forest.
The moral of this mythological story: “Don’t overestimate your goal.”
This mythology is the foundation of Taiwanese New York City-based vibraphonist Yuhan Su’s latest series of compositions. To Su, talent involves embracing what you want to say and expressing it through your work, which she does through the tale of Kua Fu.
Su is fascinated by the symbolic signs of Kua Fu; although the meaning is negatively connated, she considers the story to be “romantic and inspiring.”
“The dedication and passion chasing for something impossible (people and society think it’s impossible) is a beautiful thing,” Su says. “To me, it’s just like what we as artists do. There is this world we dream about, and we use all of our strength to take every step to come closer to it in order to offer different perspectives and possibilities. The result is not that important; what is important is the way beauty has been created.”
Su’s unique music adapts to the different stages of Kua Fu’s mindset; in a composition of three movements, she presents the audience with “When the Sun Rises”, “Starry Starry Night,” and “Parallel Chasing”, pieces that illustrate the drive and hope in the beginning, the hesitation of the midnight, and the fun adventure of the journey.
Su will embark on such a moment-to-moment journey with an audience at Flushing Town Hall on Friday, August 12, taking them through the emotions and interpretations of this story. Music is abstract, and an
ything can be brought up from our lives.
“I always think this is the beauty of music, jazz, improvisation and arts. It will be a night of a lot of stories,” she says. ‘We also will play other compositions from my new album.”
Su has other compositions, songs of farewells, for her younger brother, and of winter in New York. She is poised to embark on an international tour, preparing for tours in Europe, a 10-city visit in Spain and Belgium, and performance in Asia.
Tickets to the August 12 performance – which starts at 8:00 PM – are now available at www.flushingtownhall.org.