Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann mixes batik and photography in “Boogeyman” exhibition

YEE I-LANN EXHIBITION MALAYSIA BATIK

Boogeyman” is the name of the Yee I-Lann exhibition that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 16 September (Malaysia Day) to 3 October this year at Black Box @ MAP. This exhibition was an offsite for première Southeast Asian gallery Valentine Willie Fine Art which, as the gallery’s website states, explored “notions of the local body politic, the birth of Malaysia as a nation, piracy and resistance, and includes a significant new body of work in photomedia, batik and pewter.”

Yee I-Lann’s subject: the Orang Besar

The artist’s “Orang Besar” series formed the main body of work in the exhibition. Orang besar, literally “Big Person”, is a term used in the Southesast Asian archipelago to describe a person that forms part of the socio-political and economic elite. The orang besar continues to be a major character in Southeast Asia’s political and economic climate.

Orang Besar Series: Kain Panjang with Parasitic Kepala, 2010 (SILK EDITION: Direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, Edition of 3 + 2AP)   - The concept of ‘Orang besar’ signifies the titular location within the general hierarchy of senior officials within the traditional governance of the Malay kingdom.Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang with Parasitic Kepala’, 2010, direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, edition of 3 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.
Orang Besar Series: Kain Panjang with Carnivorous Kepala, 2010 SILK EDITION: Direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, Edition of 3 + 2AP Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang with Carnivorous Kepala, 2010, direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, edition of 3 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Orang Besar Series: Kain Panjang with Petulant Kepala, 2010 SILK EDITION: Direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, Edition of 3 + 2AP The batik crackle that I utilised represents the paths of trade, shared knowledge and interconnectedness.Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar series: ‘Kain Panjang with Petulant Kepala’, 2010, direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik canting Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, Edition of 3 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Orang Besar Series: The Great Game of Congkak, 2010 C-type print, 50 x 150 cm, Edition of 8 + 2AP - The story takes place in no particular period. Time lattices back and forth with the ebbing of tides and monsoons suturing history and current commentary unhindered by habits of linear reading.Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar Series: ‘The Great Game of Congkak’, 2010, C-type print, 50 x 150 cm, edition of 8 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Yee I-Lann, Orang Besar Series: ‘Empires of Privateers and Their Glorious Ventures’, 2010, direct digital mimaki inkjet print with acid dye, batik chop Remazol Fast Salt dyes on 100% silk twill, 132 x 400 cm, edition of 3 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Orang Besar Series: A Rousing Account of Migration in the Language of the Sea, 2010 C-type print, 61 x 61 cm each x 3 panels (triptych), Edition of 8 + 2APYee I-Lann, Orang Besar Series: ‘A Rousing Account of Migration in the Language of the Sea’, 2010, C-type print, 61 x 61 cm each x 3 panels (triptych), edition of 8 + 2AP. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Batik technique mixes with photography

For this series, Yee I-Lann worked with her first media, photography, to tell the story of her country with a sensitivity and, at times, a touch of respectful humour.

The batik Yee uses in her work is a technique created by applying liquid wax to cloth then breaking the hardened wax to expose hairline cracks. These cracks make Yee’s art stronger.

As this exhibition shows, Yee doesn’t limit herself to only one medium; she uses photography as well as installation and video to examine the cultural identity of her country.

Boogeyman will also showcase four Malaysia Day  commemorative plates to honor the birth and formation of the Federation of Malaysia, the country's four territories and its leaders. This is supported by Royal Selangor. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

Boogeyman will also showcase four Malaysia Day commemorative plates to honor the birth and formation of the Federation of Malaysia, the country's four territories and its leaders. This is supported by Royal Selangor. Image courtesy of Valentine Willie Fine Art.

About Yee I-Lann

Represented by Valentine Willie Fine Art, Yee I-Lann lives and works in Kuala Lumpur. She was born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia in 1971 and graduated in Visual Arts at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. She later studied painting at the Central St Martins School of Arts in London. Yee presented her work at the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery in 1999 and at ARCOmadrid in 2002.

SB/KN/HH

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Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann mixes batik and photography in “Boogeyman” exhibition — 3 Comments

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  2. am asnita can i ask u some question, am doing batik and i used alcohol and salt together…the effect really nice…but after wash all the nice texture gone… if u have a tips how to remain the texture when wash…

    TQ
    asnita

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