Six questions for
Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit.

Artist Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit
Lives in The Hague (The Netherlands) and Hong Kong

How do you describe your own art practice?

I approach my work holistically, as if I am foraging, because I feel that everything is interconnected. Exploration is important to me, I move between mediums organically because each idea evolves with a different kind of care. It is my ambition to manifest them pertinently and sustainably. My work is guided by repetition and reproduction, collecting and archiving; processes that embody my understanding of the urgent everyday life and purpose.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

I see the entirety of my works as parts of an ever-evolving Wunderkamer: part self-blueprint, part instruction manual, part storytelling and part ode to healing.

My works often document the traces and history of my own or of others, such as through hair, medication, used objects and consumer waste, in an attempt to understand the paradigm shift we live in. I am inspired by the Taoist philosophy and the Fluxus movement; they inform my eagerness to focus on the journey over the destination, artistic process over the finished product.

I intend for my work to celebrate the whimsical aspects of life drawn from my own experiences, and to find harmony and solace in the fractural and inexhaustible world we live in.

What was your first experience with art?

My first experience with the art of making was at age six, when I saw a weaving loom at a family friend’s workshop. I had read ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and had only seen drawings of spinning wheels. Since then I started weaving there on a weekly basis and made garments for dolls and for myself. Sadly the workshop closed about ten years ago and I still dream of those timeless days of loud crashing sounds of the looms and static radio. I believe my methodology in art-making comes from the perspective of storytelling and textiles from my youth.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Currently, I am inspired by the Gyrotonic Method as a source of methodology. Although it is a system of exercises in the form of movement training, it formulates my awareness of perceiving, making and understanding the psychology of my art-making. As my art practice often derives from autobiographical experiences, the understanding of movements, memories and boundaries modulate my work.

Though, when I find myself falling short, it always helps to have some sort of distraction; cleaning, taking a walk, talking to friends and family, furiously cooking, or reading a book. I believe in the necessity of boredom and good sleep, they are such essential minefields of a creative discipline.

What do you need in order to create your work?

A clean floor, natural light and good tools.
I have a love for good scissors and typewriters, my favourite pair right now is a hand forged tailor shears from Ernest Wright (I am so spoilt!) and a Braille Typewriter I found in a charity shop. I also have a collection of carving tools that I found at a flea market in Tokyo, and good needles. I also cannot survive without my vintage Bernina sewing machine.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

The first thing that comes to mind is an exhibition called ‘Pathways of Nioge’ I saw in Sydney earlier this year. It was an eye-opening arrangement of painted designs on barkcloth by Ömie women, worn on ceremonial occasions.

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