Artist Residency - On Reflection by Frances Yeung
The digital residency has given me the valuable opportunity to discover exhibitions and workshops from the CFCCA’s extensive archive. I have chosen to focus on researching artworks previously created by female artists, most of whom from the Eastern Asian heritage.
Seeing ‘those that came before me’, often worked on subject areas that are very up close and personal to the artist themselves - their courage to confront their vulnerabilities has touched me. It has given me the strength to explore subjects I dare not explore in the past, though the process of opening up will be a slow one and approach with subtlety.
In the exhibition Chain, the notion of traditional Chinese families expressing love through food but not words was mentioned by artist Amy Cham. This instantly brought a sad smile to my face, so true, yet carrying so much sorrow in the family. The symbolism of the hands and knife, representing contrasting qualities of love and beating. Artist Annie Wang explored motherhood, her intimate relationship with her son and her pregnant body (her publicly exposed pregnant body). Read more about the Chain exhibition in CFCCA Archive
As I delved deeper into artist He Chengyao’s pieces (admittedly initially being dismissive), I admire her provocative and powerful work. It takes guts to challenge society’s view on what a woman should or should not be. This has brought me to reflect on how our individual’s upbringing will inevitably shape and form the type of artists we become. He Chengyao and her mother had to endure the heaviness of judgments from all directions throughout their lives. In some ways, this has actually ‘free’ them, since society condemns them so much, they could create their own rules. A thought for me to ponder on for a long while. Her work explores broad subjects area such as mental health, nudity, feminist identity and mother-daughter relationships. Read more about the artist He Chengyao in CFCCA Archive
This is an installation piece called Picnic by Loch Lomond, created by Glasgow based artist Pamela So. When I saw the photo of the iconic rice cooker, it conjured up so many memories, emotions and dare I say even smells. The connection through this classic looking artefact can’t be underestimated.
Inform my practice
This residency has also given me the support, time, research materials and headspace to explore new materials, to play with new technologies and find new ways of practice. Not all experiments were successful, but it’s through these trials and failures that help inform my artist direction for the future.
Special thanks to all the advice and support from the CFCCA during the Archive & Library residency.
The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is a contemporary art gallery based in Manchester, England, which aims to advance the education of the public in contemporary Chinese arts and culture. Visit CFCCA website to find out more