The founder of Yumcha Studios is Dr. Yen Yen Woo, who was awarded the prestigious Spencer Foundation Doctoral Research Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is now a tenured Associate Professor at Long Island University’s College of Education and Information Sciences.
Dr. Woo and her creative partner and husband, Colin Goh, are also international award-winning film directors and screenwriters. Their last feature film, “Singapore Dreaming” (2006), won several major awards, including the Montblanc Screenwriters Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Best Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It has been screened in many countries worldwide, including the Smithsonian Institute and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in the US.
Woo and Goh moved to Flushing in 2008 and were struck by not only its cultural diversity, but also its dynamic spirit. “Flushing is one of the most entrepreneurial cities I have ever lived in,” says Woo. “It’s full of people trying to make it, with whatever resources they have.”
In 2011, inspired by Flushing’s cultural mix and great food, Woo and Goh started Yumcha Studios, a multimedia content production company that publishes the critically-acclaimed bilingual comic series “Dim Sum Warriors”, which has been featured by Time, the BBC, Public Radio International, and the New York Times. It recently earned an Honorable Mention in Publishers Weekly’s Critics Poll of the Best Graphic Novels of 2012, and was ranked #5 on Fast Company’s Top 10 Coolest Original Digital Comics of 2012.
The stress of juggling her academic, film and publishing careers, not to mention being the mother of a rambunctious 4 year-old, made Woo decide to start a yoga studio. “I know it sounds crazy to start a business to calm down,” laughs Woo. “But practicing yoga has given me the necessary focus, calm and energy so that I can still pursue all my interests.” And she would like to share this with the other busy folks of Flushing. “My dream is that Yumcha Yoga can be a sanctuary where locals can take a break from the hustle and bustle to restore their bodies and minds. Yoga is the best way I know of to calm down, get fit, focus on our humanity and making our world a better place.”