Yuen Fong Ling

Dr Yuen Fong Ling MFA, PhD

Senior Lecturer


I am an artist currently based in Sheffield. I make art using a variety of media and methods including drawing, photography, video and sculpture, employing the strategies of performance and participation to engage with both professional and amateur artists, invited and public audiences.


I am interested in the issues of authorship and production through socially engaged art practice, which has developed over years working professionally as an artist, workshop facilitator, exhibition curator, publication editor, and art director.

These issues were informed by my previous training and employment as a gallery educator (Cornerhouse, Manchester 1997), programme curator (Chinese Art Centre, Manchester 1998), and Co-Director (Castlefield Gallery, Manchester 1999 to 2005), devising exhibitions and activities to engage and interpret contemporary art and artists’ practice. By working with social, political, and cultural agendas of art galleries and museums, specifically artist-led initiatives, I developed in parallel an often ‘tactical’ art practice that questioned and challenged institutional strategies and conventions by actively working within them.

A culmination of these various concerns began during my MFA at Glasgow School of Art (2005 to 2007) when I began to explore the academic life drawing class from the perspective of the life model. These early experiments resulted in my current PhD by Practice at University of Lincoln entitled A Body of Relations: Reconfiguring the Life Class (2007 to present).

The research devised and tested the switching of my role between model, artist, and curator, where the realms of my own personal subjectivity were often suspended for the complexity of the ‘object’, in order for the observer to become the observed.


Department of Art and Design

College of Business, Technology and Engineering

Currently, I am a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, as my PhD research has developed methods and approaches to teaching and learning in the life class environment.

I explore the construction and representation of ‘self’ and the technologies of public and private identity to consider the pedagogical relevance and currency of the life class in contemporary art practice.


Conference papers

Ling, Y.F. (2012). The tactical life model : reconfiguring the Chinese male body in performance and participatory art practice. In Current Research into Contemporary East-Asian Visual Culture: Art-Design-Film-Photography, Tate Modern, London, 9 June 2012. http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/conference/current-research-contemporary-east-asian-visual-culture

Theses / Dissertations

Michaels, D. (2022). Organisational Encounters and Reflexive Undergoings: A Speculative Weaving in Three Transpositions. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Kivland, S., & Ling, Y.F. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00516

Griffin, J. (2022). Aura in the post-digital: a diffraction of the curatorial archive. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Mccarthy, P., Ling, Y.F., & Atherton, M. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00481


Ling, Y.F. (2019). Towards Memorial. [3 screen version plus colour intro, digital film, 7mins 07sec]. https://vimeo.com/518144753/f2f405ce58


Ling, Y.F. (2014). Beyond the body. Presented at: Beyond the Body, Ufer Studios, Berlin, Germany, 2014

Ling, Y.F. (2010). Straight to video: A body in part. Presented at: Art Schools: Inventions, Invectives and Radical Possibilities, UCL Chadwick Lecture Theatre, 2010

Ling, Y.F. (2010). The way of the artist at work. Presented at: China Birth and Belonging, Wellcome Collection, 2010

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