Creative Spotlight | Mila Feng
Published on 09 August 2022
Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make.
My name is Mila Feng, I was born in Shenzhen, China (1999) and grew up in New Zealand. I’m an emerging contemporary artist and curator working on the traditional land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, Sydney. As a recent graduate from Sydney College of The Arts (SCA), I’m continuing my practice as both a sculptor and video artist. I aim to create multi-dimensional works that engage with wide audiences, and I like to dissect theories within culture and philosophy regarding human intimacy and impermanence. I also work with gallery and museum institutions to curate exhibitions and coordinate artistic programs.
How does your personal history, culture or experience inform your creative work?
I think all of those things subconsciously influence my work. Even if I’m not directly addressing instances and events from my life, they’re always hidden between the lines, sometimes even without me realising. I moved around a lot when I was younger and was immersed in a lot of multi-cultural environments and circumstances where I’ve had to adapt quite quickly. The themes in my work are influenced by this, they’re often transformative and speak of metamorphosis or involve theories regarding memory and mark-making.
What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?
My first thought would be either The Hedgehog's Dilemma 2021 due to it being my final year work and its intensely large scale or There Is Only One Sun 2020 as it was included in an exhibition that I worked really hard on to curate. The Hedgehog's Dilemma is truly a work that even I’m impressed with, being as self-critical as I am. The work ticked all my boxes of being visually and conceptually rich as well as being multi-dimensional. I remember the technical details were extremely time-consuming too, from the initial textiles manipulation to the final filming sessions. The work was transformed and evolved many times, taking a life of its own after being influenced by its predecessor; Prologue 2021.
What creative project are you working on at the moment?
I’m preparing for an exhibition that features a collaborated work with my peer Sunnie Cao. Sunnie is an emerging artist working between Sydney and China and also focuses on sculpture and video art. The showcased work is one of my favourites, created during the lockdown when we were in different countries, with sculptures and ideas exchanged over long distances virtually and through the post. The exhibition is called Plexus (Pt. 1), presented by the Kudos Committee, showcasing at Comber St. Studios on 26 October. I’m also working on uploading more creative content on social media platforms to engage with more viewers.
What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
I think getting your foot in the door, especially as an emerging artist, is extremely challenging. One thing that was emphasised in art school was that being an artist is being an entrepreneur. You have freedom but you also have to take everything into your own hands; making new connections, sending applications for shows and prizes, making a name for yourself and getting recognised. I find it difficult at times, especially being quite an introverted person. Art jobs as well, they’re scarce enough as it is and there's always a lot of competition so you really have to get yourself out there and make memorable impressions or do side projects that don’t always make a profit.
Who are some other local artists we should check out?
Anna Tago! A dear friend of mine and a fantastic contemporary artist and illustrator. She can shift from conceptually rich sculptures to visually complex illustrations so fluidly. Check her work out at www.annatago.com.
Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch? Please provide links to your website or social media account