Yvonne Feng (b. China) lives and works in London. She completed her BA at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in 2012, her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2014. Then, she gained her practice-led doctorate in Fine Art from the Slade in 2019. She is now a Senior Lecturer in BA Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton and an Associate Lecturer in MA Painting at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL.
Yvonne Feng’s practice is centred in narrative and visual representation, and the potential of using drawing, painting and writing to speak about lived experiences. Feng attempts to take possession of ongoing life and social events by turning them into her own imaginary, subjective experiences in drawing and painting. In her recently completed doctoral research (thesis title: Tracing the Unspeakable: Painting as Embodied Seeing, 2014-20), Feng searched for artistic language and agency to represent the reality of an event of imprisonment in her family history and other events of entrapment, marginalisation and displacement. Throughout her research, painting was employed as a methodology for exploring life experiences, questioning how artmaking can impart meaning to an ongoing life event and furthermore, make possible the forming and empowerment of oneself; how the absent and the unspeakable (caused by trauma, political repression or lack of agency) can be embodied in painting; how painting can open gaps for meaningful engagements in unsettled events.
In her recent practice, Feng continues to search for visual languages to represent states of crisis(internal/external) through painting. The figure or the body is often employed as a metaphor for imagining existential situations and an agent for negotiating the inextricable relationships between the inner self and the external crisis, the individual and the collective. Inspired by the isolated, social-distanced, regulated and technologised living situations in the pandemic, Feng’s new series of paintings play with the symbolism of boundaries, screens and confined spaces. She attempts to capture the new modes of existence within the blurry boundaries between living and working, personal and public spaces, individual and collective wellness, questioning how physical and institutional structures produce subjects and how power embodied by these structures controls bodies.
Feng is the recipient of the William Coldstream Memorial Prize 2017, UCL Art Museum and Excellence in Drawing Award 2015, The Arts Club. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in the UK. Her work is included in UCL Art Museum Collection and private collections.