Helen Yeung

What has changed in your perspective towards your work?

The pandemic has definitely made me slow down and reconsider my work patterns since we shot the video. I read Rosabel Tan's interview for the series, and I think like her, this year for me was full of reflection, contemplation and pauses on aspects of my work to rethink where I would be headed in the next few years.

I would say the inability to hold in-person events, workshops or even communal get-togethers at multiple points in the year really got to me, and impacted what I was hoping to do for Migrant Zine Collective this year. There were points where I felt like I was about to give up, or realised I couldn't sustain the collective due to a lack of funding, particularly while I was putting together our two publications "Anti-Racist Soup" and "Recipes for Resistance." I realised a lot of the time I was burnt out, and struggling to keep up with myself or others.

So I'd say what's changed is that I've learnt to care for myself and love myself more, to approach my capacity more honestly, and feel okay with making mistakes or saying no to opportunities. I'm actually writing this from Guam right now, an island in Micronesia, the pace here is so much different to Aotearoa, and its given me time to be more intentional with my work.

Like the stranded island scenario, if you knew you were going to be in isolation, what are 3 things you would have planned to have with you?

My phone, laptop and parent's soup pot.

What kind of art have you turned to in this past year?

I'm not sure if I would say I've personally turned to art at any point of the year, the past few years have felt kind of stagnant for me in terms of creating as an illustrator, but I've definitely dedicate a lot of time into designing the zines we publish. I especially loved putting together the cover for our recent zine "Asian Women Talk About..." in collaboration with my talented friend and Migrant Zine Collective organiser Shivani Narsai! The art that's inspired me the most though the past year are all the collages and submissions made during our workshops or from our zine call outs, the rawness and DIY aspects of those remind me of what I truly value in creating; and that art can be therapeutic, healing and made by anyone and everyone. Another aspect of art I've loved are all the collages, illustration and videos from my Master's project.


Photo Credit: Ankita Singh

How did you keep in touch with your peers during isolation/did you?

I can't say kept in touch a lot with my peers during isolation, I did video call with friends a couple of times but I felt quite fatigued with all the online work and Zoom meetings. I think this pandemic has changed communication for a lot of us.

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Branding - Category DesignWebsite - Gayatri Adi

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