Each year, CFCCA invites applications from artists interested in engaging with our rich archive of material through a 10-week Archive and Library Residency. The programme encourages artists to create new work or a series of events in response to our collection, which comprehensively details the organisation’s history and contains an extensive library of books and resources on Chinese contemporary art and visual culture.

As we find ourselves unable to realise residencies on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic, for 2020 we have selected two artists to take part in the residency remotely and produce a digital artwork which draws inspiration from our online catalogue of archival material: Hayley Suviste and Frances Yeung.

Learn more about Frances’ residency below, who has worked with us from September to December 2020.

Frances Yeung, Finding Femininity in the Archive (2020)

Photo of Frances Yeung

Frances Yeung, image courtesy of the artist.

As an artist who takes a particular interest in exploring aspects of womanhood and femininity in her work, Frances Yeung has used her time as CFCCA’s second digital Archive & Library artist-in-residence to draw inspiration from previous exhibitions and projects at CFCCA which address these themes. In particular, work by artists such as Amy Cham, He Chengyao and Pamela So commenting on women’s multifaceted roles in society and experiences of motherhood has informed Frances’ project Finding Femininity in the Archive.

For her project, Frances has created two video works, The Forgotten Body (2020) and Love Is Chores (2020), which examine the nuanced and complex relationship between mother and child as well as reflecting on the artist’s own role as a mother. In The Forgotten Body, Frances traces the stages of a woman’s life through pregnancy, birth, and parenting. She grapples with the emotional ebb and flow of these phases: from losing and regaining control over one’s body to the ever-changing state of parenthood as children mature and their needs change. Having observed how many women feel an expectation to fulfil multiple roles both in society and in the home, Frances’ second film Love Is Chores considers the more subtle and functional channels through which maternal love can be expressed and questions society’s devaluation of emotional and domestic labour.

Finding Femininity in the Archive can be accessed here, along with Frances’ reflections on the residency and how it has contributed to the development of her artistic practice.

About Frances:

With over 20 years’ experience as a graphic designer, Frances Yeung has turned her attention in recent years to developing her artistic practice. She blends traditional mediums, such as silkscreen and conductive ink, with the newer technologies of projection mapping and Bare Touch Board. Her work is also infused with community interaction, with a focus on promoting understanding and raising awareness of marginalised groups in society. Her previous projects and collaborations have addressed topics ranging from the difficulties faced by autistic children and their families to the erasure of queer histories and spaces as a result of urban development in King’s Cross, London. In particular, Frances aims to shed light on the complexities of British Chinese women’s identities in a way that subverts stereotypes and challenges lacking representation. She has worked with a number of UK institutions including Birmingham Open Media, China West Midlands, and the University of Birmingham, as well as running workshops for Coventry Positive Image Festival and the Chinese Community Centre in Birmingham.