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Yee I-Lann: Until We Hug Again

1 September 2021 - 7 November 2021

Free

EVENT DESCRIPTION

CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) will host Yee I-Lann: Until We Hug Again, the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by Yee I-Lann, an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist from Kota Kinabalu, the State of Sabah, Malaysia. The exhibition showcases the resilient spirit of people in Sabah through new commissioned and existing works, and offers open stage performative experiences and a myriad of interactive and co-learning programmes. The exhibition also shows the common thread between Hong Kong and Malaysia in term of colonial impact over local culture and lifestyles.

Born and currently lives and works in Kota Kinabalu, Yee creates works which respond to the modern history of the Southeast Asian Archipelago and its colonial past and postcolonial present. Yee established her artistic career through digitally manipulating images from found photographs and historical archives, and she has been disentangling historical narratives from a single perspective, presenting complex cultural identities manifested throughout the geopolitical history of Southeast Asia.

A critical examiner of image production and material nature, Yee carefully chooses materials and techniques for her works. Echoing the history of CHAT’s former site as a cotton-spinning mill, Yee’s past and recent works emphasising the significance of textiles will be showcased, not only as a medium used in active response to the colonial history of the Southeast Asian Archipelago, but also as a methodology to collectively represent the region’s complex multi-ethnic cultural identity and heritage.

More recently, her works and artistic practices turns to collaborations with weavers from the indigenous Sabah communities including the Dusun/Murut land people and the Bajau Laut/Sama Dilaut sea people. Through the concept of the tikar (woven mat), a traditional, everyday object with diverse functions as well as cultural significance, Yee aims to reconnect herself with these communities, exploring alternative forms of circular economy to revitalise and sustain local skills and knowledge.

At CHAT’s gallery, visitors will especially counter a newly commissioned work of woven mat with rows of text. Comprised of lyrics from iconic Cantonese popular songs, the new tikar work gestures at the transcultural influence between Hong Kong and Malaysia beyond their shared history of colonialisation and its subsequent impact over local culture and lifestyles. The work further asks visitors to consider the issue of dominant homogenising culture compared with the shared experience between inhabitants of a common cultural space.

Between 1 September to 17 October of this year, CHAT will also exhibit a large-scale installation at The Hall of The Mills, title Special Display: CHAT at The Mills. Two large handwoven tikar will suspend from the ceiling, another, titled Tikar Emoji, will be installed on the ground as a stage that encourages visitors’ interaction. During the exhibition period, we will invite local art and cultural groups and individuals to perform on the work and organise open calls to celebrate the multifaceted talents in the city.

The permanent display Welcome to the Spinning Factory! remains open to the public during the exhibition period. From this season onwards, visitors are invited to take part in the various activities such as weaving and wearable-art-making at the workstations located in the gallery.

ABOUT THE ARTIST / ORGANISER

Born and currently lives and works in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah, Yee I-Lann has been involved in various cultural sectors including film industries, the art academy and the music scene in Kuala Lumpur after completing her studies of visual art in Adelaide, Australia.

Since 2017, Yee has lived and worked in her homeland of Kota Kinabalu and started working in collaboration with sea-based and mountain-based communities to create art pieces with indigenous materials and techniques.

Known for her photo-imagery-based practices, Yee has been addressing the modern history of the Southeast Asian Archipelago and its colonial past and postcolonial present. Interrogating the nature of photographic imagery, which often subconsciously capture power structures such as hegemony, hierarchy and gender inequality embedded in societies while preserving them as memory or documentation, Yee has been disentangling historical narrative from a single perspective, presenting complex cultural identities and socio-political matters formed by multiple ethnicities throughout the geopolitical history of Southeast Asia.

Details

Start:
1 September 2021
End:
7 November 2021
Admission:
Free
Event Category:
Website:
https://www.mill6chat.org/event/yee-i-lann-until-we-hug-again/

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