Åsne Kummeneje Mellem is a Kven artist using her practice to investigate the Kven culture through visual mediums such as Kven crafts, Käsityö and photography.
She holds a BA in medium and material-based art at The National Academy of the Arts in Oslo and has completed two years at Oslo School of Art Photography (OFKS). Kummeneje Mellem is the first Kven artist to be purchased by Nord-Norsk Kunstmuseum.
Through her engagements in the Kven community and organizations, Kummeneje Mellem gets inspired to explore the fragments of the Kven culture that are left in today’s society. Tellings of traditional ways of doing from people in the community are combined with a need to visually express her minority culture. When the elders tell stories about how they dyed textiles with lichen, Kummeneje Mellem takes this as a challenge. She uses the fragmented stories as a template for her works, harvesting materials and exploring the way of creating something “the Kven way”.
The title “I Never Learnt my Mother Tongue” is a reference to the gap of knowledge dividing the generations because of the assimilation period. Through the scene of contemporary art, Kummeneje Mellem is able to explore what it means to be a Kven artist today, developing the culture within, as well as showing the culture to others.
As Young Arctic Artists 2021 Åsne has a double role both as artist and as curator.