Wy Joung Kou is an interdisciplinary artist based in Treaty 13 Territory, Toronto. Their body of work spans mosaic, video, sound, movement, performance, poetry, and installation. Grounded in a disability justice framework centering accessibility, relationship and interdependence, their artistic practice intertwines the digital and the analog; the public and the personal; the sensory-based and the story-based.
They are the Associate Artistic Director of ReDefine Arts: An interdisciplinary arts organization that roots itself in artistic practices which embed and cultivate social engagement and collaboration. Working with and within a network of community partnerships, RDA creates opportunities for art-making, presentation, and mentorship that advance disability justice, collective liberation, and artistic innovation. RDA is part of an ecosystem of cultural producers who believe that art is necessary and is a reflexive tool for world-building and (re)imagination.
Kou’s educational trajectory as a professional artist has followed a path combining mentorship, apprenticeship, and community-models of learning, skill exchange, and collaborative process. Some of their independent mosaic work has exhibited in places such as The Gladstone Hotel, the ArQuives, the Harbourfront Centre, and DesignTO Festival. Permanent public art credits include a mosaic commission for the North York Women's Shelter in 2020 and lead design for a permanent outdoor mosaic mural, produced by ReDefine Arts, at Street Health in 2018. Kou has co-created and presented interdisciplinary collaborative work online, in-person, and through hybrid means with Nightwood Theatre (The Transformations Project), Caminos Festival (The Mermaid Project), Toronto Queer Film Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille (May I Take Your Arm?), the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre (Where There Is Smoke), and Creative Users Projects (CRIP INTERIORS).
Kou has been a performing & teaching member of Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers since 2019. They are the founder and organizer of the Sick & Disabled Queer Zine Fair (2018-2019), an Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency alum, and in 2018 they were the inaugural winner of the JRG Grant for Artist with Disabilities.