A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Where I Work

In the Studio with Jade Yumang

by Bree Witt

Assistant Professor Jade Yumang (Fiber and Material Studies)

[Being in the studio] is a very vulnerable space for me. That’s the only time where I can let go. As an instructor, you have to be always on, and this is where I shut down.”

Located in a greystone in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, Jade Yumang’s home studio, packed with dozens of bright fabric sculptures for an upcoming show, could serve as a playground. A recent Chicago transplant, Yumang jokes that “once the cats move in, they are going to wreck [my studio]. I feel like I’m making cat toys!”

Yumang, an assistant professor in Fiber and Material Studies, often produces serial work, with 20 to 40 pieces per series. While Yumang looks for a larger workplace, his home is filled with 40 works testing the limits of his space. But even for a provisional studio, it is surprisingly well organized to help him track materials and techniques. “[My studio] is my lifeline. Play is so key to my work; a lot of it is futzing around with different techniques to see what hits. The studio is so integral. I don’t think I can live without it.”