[Self portrait] A mattress with a sleeping self portrait. Inside the mattress and the figure are filled with my ‘emergency’ herbal Chinese medicine. The medication has sedatives and makes me sleep long hours.

[Pill Carriers] Oak and Mahogany sculptures. The head has with pills embedded in the head, the top of the foot opens up and holds pills inside.

[Full view]

Prospects Art Rotterdam 2024

From 1 to 4 February 2024, the Mondriaan Fund is organising a new edition of Prospects during Art Rotterdam at the Van Nelle Factory. The exhibition shows the work of 86 starting artists. All artists received a financial contribution from the Mondriaan Fund in 2022 to kickstart their career.

“The objects created by Ellen Yiu (1997) could be described as miniatures. At least, in case larger originals of these small objects would actually exist. Her artistic practice focuses on interpreting small objects. She alters the meaning of these objects by changing their scale, making unexpected combinations, or creating something entirely new.

Anyone looking at Yiu’s installations, will be immersed in the artist’s personal impressions and experiences. Themes like identity, healing, and the search for a sense of belonging play an important role in her work. The artist expresses her recollections in a wide range of materials, using a variety of techniques — from woodcarving and bookbinding to textile manipulation —, and even incorporating materials like medication, electronics, and human hair.

At Prospects, Yiu is presenting a blueprint on which she has put objects she made herself. All the different components are arranged in an intuitive way, a process she describes as meditative, occasionally frustrating, but also healing.

A deeper layer of meaning in the work can, for instance, be found in her search for a healthy and balanced life, for which she uses insights from traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist philosophy, and spiritual wisdom. This same attention is also present in the shown objects. With her kinetic installation, Yiu is inviting us to forge a connection based on a sense of wonder about the smaller things in life that, because of their modest size, are easily overlooked but may actually represent an entire life.”

Text: Jorne Vriens

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang

The grid is constructed with monk’s beads from my parent’s farm in Hong Kong. They are naturally hollow in the center, hence the name. Each bead is attached to the wall with a nail threaded through the center.