Yeu-Lai Mo is an artist using photography, video, sound and mixed media installation in her work. Her work investigates female roles in a patriarchal society and challenges stereotypical ideas about British Chinese women. She pushes barriers and questions our assumptions and stereotypes of British Chinese people. As well as being interested in issues of gender, masculinity and femininity she explores personal experiences in her work.
As a Chinese woman, a first generation British born person, Mo feels that there are no real/true representations of Chinese women that are positive. The ones that exist already are sexist or stereotypical. In previous pieces of work she has used strategies of placing herself in the work, dressing up or imitating other people as a device for reflecting attitudes, making the viewer look at themselves. Using the medium of photography was the most direct way of communicating these ideas. (see images; Portrait of the Artist as a Painter, Spitting, Pointing, Yeu-Lai’s House-Standy).
Graduating at The Royal College of Art in 1997 MA Fine Art Printmaking. Mo was born in a small town outside the West Midlands. Her parents emigrated from China, to start a new life and business. It was a typical Chinese takeaway she grew up in and was inspired to make art about. She produced an installation called ‘Yeu-Lai’s House where the traditional Chinese takeaway was deconstructed and expectations were challenged. The menu on the light box only displayed a limited menu consisting of items of food that the artist ‘referred’ to as ‘late night drinker’s choices’ consisting of rice or chip options served with curry sauce or sweet & sour sauce. A lithographic print was produced to reinforce the concept. Included in the installation a life size self portrait as a standee cut out of the artist stood in attendance behind the counter, bamboo wall paper and fake wood effect formica as standard décor. Here a video entitled ‘Service, Kissing & Licking’ was presented on the TV screen placed on the counter where acts of servitude are acted out in a looped video piece gesturing ‘said’ actions behind a takeaway counter.
Images enclosed, ‘Yeu-Lai’s House, Installation view, mid view, Video.
Other interests include working with ‘food’ as material, bringing together combinations of food to make sculptures or ‘Foodscapes’ inspired by the produce we find in our kitchen cupboards. More recently experimenting with scanning items of food directly onto a digital scanner and making 2D images and playing with the visceral qualities associated with abstract painting.
See Food Jars, Untitled food jars 1,2,3,4.
Shortly after graduating from the Royal College of Art, Yeu-Lai has exhibited alongside artists such as Sonia Boyce in a joint show entitled ‘Licked’ Gasworks Gallery 2000 where she made site specific art work filling large scale tanks with food matter such as lard, ketchup, oil & water.
See images, Foodscapes 1,2,3.
More recently Mo was invited to participate in group show called Now, Now, In More Than One Place,
(A display to accompany BAM, Black artists & Modernism Conference at Tate Britain Oct 2016) curated
by Sonia Boyce, supported by UAL, Iniva. http://www.blackartistsmodernism.co.uk/category/displays/
At the same time Mo took a break from the art world to bring up a family. During this time productivity and participating in exhibitions has been limited. This opportunity to attain a studio let would be an ideal resource to pick up from she left off and have a space where ideas and play can take place without the confinement of a domestic home.
Sept 2018 'Heads' Installation, 'Salifest', Catford Arts Trail, St Laurence Centre, Catford SE6
Oct 2018 Flow/Constellations, screenings for the Archive & Beyond, Asia Art Activism, Raven Row, Artillery Lane, E1.
Oct 2016 Now! Now! In More Than One Place, group show curated by Sonia Boyce supported by UAL, Iniva
Apr 2012 Catford Intervention, Blockbuster, group show curated by Platform 7.
April 2002-03 Ten Thousand Li, Curated by Deborah Chan & Wing Fai Leung Supported by the Open Eye Gallery Liverpool. A touring show from 2002- 2003, Photofusion, London, Impressions Gallery, York, Lincolnshire Life Museum, Folly Gallery, Lancaster, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Derby, Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Feb 02 Big Screen in Little China! Group show In association with GMI Screen & BCAA for London Chinatown New Year celebrations, Leicester Square.
Jan 02 Ten Thousand Li, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.
Oct 01 Upricing, curated by Lisa Cheung, BASH, Beijing.
Aug 01 Upricing, curated by Lisa Cheung, Museum of Space, Hong Kong.
Jun 01 The Poster, The Show curated by Lisa Le Feurve, Hoxton Distillery, London.
Jan 01 The Big Screen, Open air screening of group show, Hong Kong Fringe Festival.
Apr 00 Licked Yeu Lai Mo & Sonia Boyce, Gasworks Gallery, London.
Mar 00 Nowhere Fast, ACAVA award group show, Cremer Street, East London.
Mar 00 Richmix: Hub, Bishopgate Goods Yard, East London.
Feb 00 Yeu-Lai’s House, Solo Show, Quay Art Gallery, Kingston Upon Hull.
2016 Now! Now!...In More Than One Place, curated by Sonia Boyce exhibition accompanying London Conference; Now & Then…Here & Now; Black Artists and Modernism, publication Edited by Meanie Keen (Iniva).
2016 Phenomenal Difference: A Philosophy of Black British Art by Leon Wainwright, Liverpool
University Press, Value Art Politics Series.
2006 ‘Big Screen In Little China!’ Connections & Disconnection’s: museums, cultural heritage and diverse communities, Victoria & Albert Museum.
2004 ‘Reassurance’ Curated by Yeu-Lai Mo, essay & catalogue by Lisa Le Feuvre
2002 ‘Chinese Infusions’ by Sarjid Rizvi, Eastern Art Report. No 47 2002/1
2003 ‘Ten Thousand Li, Chinese Infusion in Contemporary British Culture’, group show catalogue, editors Jon Barraclough, Deborah Chan, Wing-Fai Leung.
2002 ‘Ten Thousand Li’ by Wing-Fai Leung, Point Magazine, Art and Design Research Journal.
2001 EAT, February Edition, Bilingual magazine, published in Tokyo.
2000 ‘Ethnicities on the move: British Chinese Art –Identity, subjectivity, politics and beyond’ by Diana Yeh, Critical Quarterly Magazine.
2001 ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ by Sonia Boyce, Reverberations, Tatics of
Resistance, Forms of Agency in Trans/cultural Pratices, Edited by Jean Fisher, Jan Van Eyck Akademie Editions.
1993 Through different eyes: the cultural identities of young Chinese people in Britain by
Dr David Parker.
Feb – Mar 04 Reassurance curated by Yeu-Lai Mo, SPACE Triangle Gallery, Hackney, London.
Sep – Nov 05 Reassurance Touring Exhibition, curated by Yeu-Lai Mo Chinese Art Centre, Manchester.
Feb 02 Big Screen in Little China! In association with GMI Screen & BCAA for London Chinatown New Year celebrations, Leicester Square.
1997 Royal College of Art, MA Fine Art.
1994 Brighton University, BA Hons,Fine Art.
1994 Foundation Art & Design, Bournville College of Art, Birmingham University.
1997 ACAVA, First base studio awards
1995 Studio Residency at Docklands, Trinity Buoy Wharf.
1996 Young Artist’s Awards, East Sussex County Council.
1993 Brighton Book Competition, St Peters House Library, Brighton.
Mar 00 ‘Untitled Sound Piece’ commissioned by Hub, Richmix Tower Hamlets project curated by Erika Tan.