Yue Mingyue



Me, We, Women


Museum of Motherhood,采访于2021年6月

See the web version:
https://mommuseum.org/yue-mingyue/

Yue Mingyue, born in Liaoning in 1996, is currently working and living in Beijing as a fiber artist. She began to study fiber art in the Department of Arts and Crafts at Tsinghua University in 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in design art in 2018 and continued her postgraduate study in the same major. She is currently a PhD candidate in 2021 from the Department of Arts and Crafts at Tsinghua University. Yue’s artistic practice conveys her thinking that death is a part of life, while she also explores the relationship between conception and the female body. Black and red yarn, as recurring materials, has become the inner symbolic bond of her works. Her work focuses on both textural differences in textile materials, hand embroidery and digital embroidery. Yue’s personal and collaborative works cover fiber and textile art, photography, painting, drama and short films. Her selected exhibitions include solo exhibitions in Beijing 1911 Space, Art and Education Center of Tsinghua University, and Cité internationale des arts; group exhibitions at M50 Creative Park in Shanghai, Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, Orga Art Museum in Beijing, and Guan Shanyue Art Museum in Shenzhen.



Curator: As a young emerging artist, what triggered you to look at gender issue and motherhood and create the red gauze projects?

Yue: The initial motivation of these red yarn projects was closely related to another series about Death. After discussing and exploring death, I wanted to return to the environment at the very beginning of life. This installation also refers to “The Handmaid’s Tale”. I want to bring the audience back to mother’s womb, creating a simulated environment that we can be wrapped by. During the production of the work, I kept communicating with friends about my idea and some of them even helped me to shape the work. Although there were male friends involved, more talks were occurred between female friends. Especially when we talked about fertility and giving birth, I felt safer when talking with female community as we have the same organs, the womb, which is shaping our collective social role and attribute.




Curator: During the exhibitions, you encouraged audiences to walk in and touch the installations. How is that important to understand this work?

Yue: I am not afraid of any damage to the work at all, especially for this installation work. From the outside, it looks like a soft shell, you won’t see the structure inside until you walk into it. It has some network cables like umbilical cords, and that creates the experience of being entangled and wrapped. I think the most important idea is that you are inside, maybe for a single moment there will be some emotional resonance between you and the work. This was the idea I had when I started the project, and I believe it is the best way to visit it.

Curator: There is a debate that “womb” shackled women to a certain role and it is an obstacle for feminism. What do you think the meaning of “womb”? Can it be neutral?

Yue: On the one hand, the womb largely determines the social role of women. It is precisely this fertility that may bring oppression to women or leaving them in a worse life condition. Especially for women at the bottom of society or the regions where feminism is still in its infancy, we witness greater oppression, and they may suffer all their lives because of this organ. But from another perspective, the meaning of the womb to me is still sacred, because it can create and nurture life, like Creator. Although I am not a mother yet, I have such an organ, which I think is remarkable.

Curator: You express the beauty, gentleness and passion of giving birth through this work, could it actually conceal the invisible and traumatic labor both physically and mentally?

Yue: Pain and beauty may be convertible and do not conflict. From my current point of view, the process of pregnant and giving birth are accompanied by both pleasure and pain. So there may be two orientations of artistic expressions. For me at this stage and age, it tends to be positive, sacred and mysterious.




Curator: You express the beauty, gentleness and passion of giving birth through this work, could it actually conceal the invisible and traumatic labor both physically and mentally?

Yue: Pain and beauty may be convertible and do not conflict. From my current point of view, the process of pregnant and giving birth are accompanied by both pleasure and pain. So there may be two orientations of artistic expressions. For me at this stage and age, it tends to be positive, sacred and mysterious.

Curator: What about the current context of Chinese young contemporary artists especially the female ones?

Yue: My fellows and I are particularly lucky. When we were in the university, there was no distinguishment between genders and no division of labor. Girls are very free to choose and can do what they want, such as independent artists, filming documentaries, or pursuing post graduate studies. As for the issue of gender equality, from a social perspective, the current situation in China is actually unsatisfactory. But the art domain and our community are fortunate to have a lot of space, the right to choose and the ability to express. But I know there are many real problems that I don’t experience myself. The initiator of my latest exhibition was a woman who distributed hygiene products to female medical staff in Wuhan during the pandemic. I think they are real practitioners, and actionable warriors who dedicated themselves to social work.