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.
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.
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.
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