Yim Yen Sum

Born 1987. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lives and works Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

LOTE: Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa Malay

About

Yim Yen Sum received her diploma in Fine Art from Dasein Academy of Art in 2008. Working predominantly in textiles, Yim’s practice entails hours of incredibly delicate needlework, comprising units of gauze that have undergone processes of manipulation, including dyeing, digital editing and appliqué. Her process is repetitive, accumulating units like building blocks. She is often hesitant to declare their completion as she believes that each piece can evolve with time and space, an expression of her belief that creating art should not be an individual act, but a process that encourages interconnectivity and the fostering of new relationships.

These connections extend beyond individuals to one's relationship to their immediate environments, often addressing the experience of inhabitants living in urban areas and their responses to their rapidly-evolving landscapes.

Yim has presented four solo exhibitions in Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Her works have been shown widely in local and international group exhibitions, selected exhibitions including Prosthetic Memories (Gallery 181, Kuala Lumpur, 2023); Elevators Have Windows Too (Halle 18, Leipzig, 2023); Travel Agency (ArtSpace@HeluTrans, Singapore, 2022); Synthetic Condition (UP Vargas Museum, Manila, 2022); and Di Mana (where are) young (National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2017). Yim is a recipient of the 2016 UOB Painting of The Year Award, and the LIA-Leipzig International Art Programme residency in 2022. In 2019, Yim was selected to participate in the Biennale Jogja XV Equator in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Artist Statement

The project is inspired by the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia, particularly during the Movement Control Order (MCO), which confined us to our homes. Through the window, I felt a connection with my neighbours, symbolising our shared humanity. This led to the creation of window artworks, reflecting the interconnectedness of people and the enduring bonds that unite us.

Using needles as tools, I explore the contradictions in human relationships and the changes in our environment. The artwork illustrates the evolving nature of our connections and the balance between positive and negative aspects of change.

Inspired by traditional oriental aesthetics, I create hand-scroll artworks, inviting viewers to unfold the narrative through physical movement. The project is an interactive work with collectors – they can select pieces from the hand-scroll display. After they have decided, I will take down the art piece that was purchased on the spot. This interaction symbolises the transition between the old and the new, and the continuous evolution of stories and experiences.

As a Malaysian who lives in Kuala Lumpur, I’m bringing my personal experience to different places and country. I’m acting like a needle to connect the similarity and the differences between the city through living in it. The project will start in Malaysia and continue in different places. It will be growing in length continuously, reflecting time’s inherent progression.

Acknowledgements & Collaborators

Represented by A+ Works of Art, supported by MyCreative Ventures Group, Malaysia, and UOB Bank.

Exhibiting at

Holmes à Court Gallery @No.10

Situated in the heart of The Pickle District in Gooyaman, West Perth.

Address

10 Douglas Street, West Perth, WA 6005