Poh Ling Yeow
|Poh Ling Yeow|
Yeow at the InStyle and Audi Woman of Style Awards, May 2013
|Born||Poh Ling Yeow
1973 (age 43–44)
Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Residence||Norwood, South Australia, Australia|
|Other names||Sharon Yeow|
|Education||Bachelor of Design|
|Alma mater||University of South Australia|
|Title||Runner-up, MasterChef Australia (season 1)|
Poh & Co.
Early life and history
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia into a fifth-generation Malaysian Chinese family, Yeow attended SMK Convent Bukit Nanas. She immigrated to Australia at age 9 with her parents and brother, eventually settling in Adelaide, South Australia. After attending Seymour College and then the University of South Australia (where she earned a Bachelor of Design degree), Yeow worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and makeup artist.
Yeow’s corporate clients as a makeup artist included L’Oréal and Attitude magazine, the Australian String Quartet and the short film my last ten hours with you. Her personal clients included Megan Gale and Lisa Ho. Freelance work as a makeup artist led to her preparing models for artist David Bromley, increasing her understanding of the art market. Yeow has acknowledged that she posed as a nude model for Bromley.
Elements of her Chinese heritage feature in her work, including the goldfish, a symbol of prosperity and good luck in Chinese culture. A recurring character in Yeow’s recent work is one that she calls The Girl, who she refers to in the third person, although the character’s facial features are clearly similar to Yeow’s. She says “I guess [The Girl] was developed as a cathartic act, in terms of embracing everything that I did hate about myself physically: the broad nose, the Asian eyes, the broad face”.
A further theme behind her recent body of work was Yeow’s split with her partner of 10 years, with titles including “Was That the Last Goodbye?” and “You Haven’t Left and I Miss You Already”. Her Mermaid series, with The Girl’s clothes fashioned from goldfish scales and fins, is about losing your identity and taking on your partner’s.
Exhibitions and media
From her first solo exhibition in 2002, Yeow has been a regular exhibitor at the Hill Smith Gallery. She has also appeared regularly at Libby Edwards Gallery. Yeow’s work has been featured or critically reviewed in publications such as Vogue Australia, House & Garden, The Advertiser and mX.
Beat the Chef
Yeow first appeared on the ABC television program Beat The Chef on 13 April 2005. Her auntie Kim Thoo assisted her in the studio kitchen, where she prepared Ying Yang Prawns. She returned to the program on 15 June 2005, assisted by her friend Felicity Electricity. This time she prepared Basil Thai Fried Rice and Deep-Fried Dory Fillets with Green Mango.
Yeow was selected in the top 20 contestants for the first cycle of MasterChef Australia from over 7000 applicants. Competition and eliminations began in May 2009. Yeow was eliminated on 18 June 2009 when she incorrectly guessed the ingredients in minestrone. She was one of three eliminated contestants allowed to return to the program on 1 July 2009. She survived further eliminations to compete in the final on 19 July 2009 against Julie Goodwin. Goodwin won the final, with Yeow runner-up.
World Chef Showcase
Yeow signed with the ABC for a cooking series (Poh’s Kitchen) and a two-book publishing deal with ABC Books. The production on the series began in November 2009 in her home town of Adelaide. The series was aired from 10 February 2010. Yeow was nominated for the Logie Awards of 2011 in the category of Most Popular New Female Talent.
In 2011 the ABC broadcast a second season of Poh’s Kitchen, entitled Poh’s Kitchen on the Road. Yeow travelled to all Australian states, as well as Singapore and Thailand, to film stories on produce and cooking. A third season premiered on 11 September 2012.
Poh & Co.
Yeow has also opened a gourmet food stall, Jamface by Poh, at the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market.
Yeow has appeared in four films: Human Touch (2004), Peaches (2004), Hey, Hey, It’s Esther Blueburger (2008) and the Tropfest short film Jackie’s Spring Palace (2009). She is also credited as production designer on Jackie’s Spring Palace.