The concept of StudioJaz came from Jazmyne Koch’s interest in pursuing her multiple passions, making them more than just a hobby, but a complete expression to her body of artistic work.
“You can’t tell an artist to just be creative when they paint and turn off the creativity when they take a photo, dress themself or dance. Expression and creation is the way I choose to live life, so why not create a place to collect my life experiences?” –Jazmyne
StudioJaz is a creative platform that houses everything Jazmyne chooses to explore, not only dance.
“Studio” comes from the idea that the word can refer to an artistic space, be it dance, photography, music, creative writing, performance, film, fashion, and design. It is a place where an artist works, and a space with an association to something coming into fruition. “Jaz” is her nickname, so it seems fitting to claim the studio as hers.
Her artistic inspiration and theme to her work is derived from her love of her homeland-- the Hawaiian Islands--, and her background in cultural anthropology, having interests in traditional and contemporary culture and society.
The statement that Jazmyne asks herself when pursuing new work is, “How would I, a contemporary person of my culture, express my identity today?”
Jazmyne grew up in the cultural diverse environment of the Hawaiian Islands and, having many opportunities to travel internationally, developed an interest in understanding how people from different cultures live and experience the world.
She has been blessed to have had a wide range of cultural contact, of which have included learning and collecting a wide variety of dance styles that have inspired her creative work—growing up learning hula, to jazz and African hip-hop funk fusion, western forms such as modern dance, ballet and contemporary dance, and numerous cultural influences from regions of the Pacific, Asia, South East Asia and South America.
She has combined these influences into her style she calls “Urban Cultural Dance.”
When asked to describe herself in her work, Jazmyne states:
“ I am simply a creator, as we all are. I do not limit myself to being one thing, because I am not. I practice many forms of “art” as they express who I am in unique ways and different degrees. If I had to label myself, I would say that I am an artist. In detail: a mover, performer, choreographer, painter, designer, sketcher, filmer, photographer, crafter, sewer, writer, storyteller and researcher…but that’s just the surface.”
Using these modes of expressions, Jazmyne’s interdisciplinary work delves into topics of multiraciality, identity tied to place, colonialism, as well as exoticism and feminine roles.
Her work questions contemporary society, tourism and the stereotypes of the “tropical feminine body”, looking into historical events that have influenced our present.
“I produce work in order to express what has collected within me, to share stories that have an underrepresented voice, and give it life through my body and deliverance to the audience. My aim is to open a different perspective to the audience, in the result that it will lead to dialogue, possible recognition of an interrelationship with their own stories, inspiration to create, and of course spark more questions that can then be pursued.” -Jazmyne