Yang-En Hume


Relics was first exhibited at Willesden Green Gallery in August 2020, following a residency at the gallery. During the residency I worked on a series of site-specific textile and cyanotype installations.

Flea markets in Europe feature overwhelming amounts of domestic detritus. Family photographs, letters, fabric and handicrafts are displayed in disorganised piles, presenting a striking contrast to the carefully classified artefacts exhibited in museums. Such differences reveal a valuing of certain stories and an overlooking of others. Personal histories are embedded within the surfaces of found objects; the intimate, private nature of these items simultaneously reveal and conceal much about the people who once owned them.

For this exhibition, I created cyanotypes from photographs of anonymous women collected at flea markets. The installation of these photos in a gallery setting displaces them from their original contexts. The role of chance in creating cyanotypes echoes the accidental nature of discovering objects at flea markets, while the partially obscured prints reflect the way in which found objects only tell us fragments of a story. The cyanotypes are documented and digitally printed onto translucent fabric which is then cut and layered, distorting the original images further.

Relics invites the audience to question why certain stories and objects are memorialised in museums while others are discarded. The process of organising fragmented photos resembles detective work as I work to identify the significance of these images and how they fit together. Fabric, embroidery and portraits of women take up space in the gallery, highlighting the unseen labour of women and paying homage to the often overlooked domestic crafts.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Yang-En Hume is an Australian installation and mixed-media artist, based in London. She graduated Dux of her year with first class honours from the National Art School, Sydney in 2013. Hume has held solo and group exhibitions in London, Sydney and France. Her 2019 exhibition, Duplicate State, wove together found objects, cameraless photography and fibre art to explore how personal histories are remembered and constructed. In 2016, Hume coordinated a team of fourty volunteers for her exhibition, Diaspora. Together, they embroidered letters and photographs collected from Parisian flea markets. She curated the exhibitions Pricked in 2016 and Atrophy in 2014, and was a team leader for the collaborative collage works, No Human Being is Illegal (In All Our Glory), coordinated by artist Deborah Kelly.

Hume has been the recipient of various grants and prizes. She won the A-N artist bursary in 2020, the NG Creative Residency Prize in 2018, the National Art School Paris Residency, the Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant in 2015. In 2013, Hume was awarded an eight month studio residency with Brand X in Sydney. She has also received the William Fletcher Grant, has been highly commended in the Blacktown Art Prize and has been shortlisted for various prizes including the Kennedy Art Prize, the Rick Amor Drawing Prize and the Lloyd Rees Memorial Youth Award. Hume works from SET Space Studios in Lewisham and is a member of the AntiMA collective.