Yee I-Lann (b. 1971, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo) lives and works in Kota Kinabalu. Her primarily photomedia-based art practice speculates on issues of culture, power and the role of historical memory in our social experience. Such layers necessitate an extensive and multi-layered visual vocabulary drawn from research, historical references, popular culture, archives and everyday objects. Yee graduated from the University of South Australia (Adelaide, Australia) with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) in 1993 with a major in Photography and a minor in Cinematography.
Yee has shown extensively worldwide since her first group exhibition in Malaysia and four come home at the Sabah Art Gallery in 1994 curated by Valentine Willie. Recent selected exhibition highlights include: Glorious: earthly pleasures and heavenly realms, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2017); SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan (2017); Converging Voices: Gender and Identity, Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NY, USA (2017); MAM Collection 004: Imagining the Unknown Stories, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2017); BODY/PLAY/POLITICS, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2016); Yinchuan Biennale, For an Image, Faster Than Light, Yinchuan, China (2016); Artist and Empire: (En)countering Colonial Legacies, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore (2016). Yee was the first non Filipino artist to be honoured with a solo exhibition Yee I-Lann: 2005-2016 at the Ayala Museum in Manila, Philippines (2016)
Her art work is in major public, corporate and private collections, selected highlights include: Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, USA; Museum of 21st Century Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, japan; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Australia National Art Gallery, Canberra, Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; National Visual Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sabah Art Gallery, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; UBS Art Collection, London, UK; Kadist Foundation, Paris, France; Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia; Khazanah Art Collection, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bank Negara Art Collection, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Petronas Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Universiti Sains Malaysia, Georgetown, Malaysia; Griffith University Art Collection, Queensland, Australia
Yee has worked in the Malaysian film industry since 1996 on local and international productions as a production designer and within film art departments. Highlights of her local credits as production designer include: Bukak Api (1996); Spinning Gasing (2000); Embun (2002); Gol & Gincu (2005); Raindogs (2006); Dukun (2006); Karaoke (2009); Senandung Malam (2012); Bunohan (2013). Her latest international credit is for Channel 4 UK’s Indian Summers (2015) as Set Decorator. Yee was responsible for founding the production design for film curriculum at Akademi Seni Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA) in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 - 2008. She has also taught production design for film for one semester at Sunway University (2011) and New Era College (2012), both in Kuala Lumpur.
Yee was a co-founder of LabDNA, an art collective based in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 which organized the multimedia theatre event To Catch A Cloud at Planetarium Negara (1996) and the first 3 rave parties in Malaysia including Blue Skies held at Pudu Jail (1997). Yee was the creative director of the North Borneo History Enthusiasts community project with DBKK Bonding With Gaya Street in Kota Kinabalu (2012); a cocurator for the Singapore Biennale: If The World Changed (2013) and a co-founder of The Ricecooker Archives: Southeast Asian Rock ’n’ Roll Treasury (2016). Yee was a co-founding partner of KOTA-K Studio in 2017, a creative working studio space in Tanjung Aru Old Town, Kota Kinabalu which has organized and hosted talks by visiting museum curators, regional artists and academics as well as craft workshops and an exhibition.
Most recently Yee was a speaker at Art Fair Philippines in Manila (February 2018) and at the Art Basel Hong Kong: Conversations program in Hong Kong (March 2018). She is about to present her work at OzAsia Festival in Adelaide (October 2018) and will be a panelist speaker for Art and Action: Contemporary Art and Discourse in Southeast Asia conference at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (December 2018). She is currently on the Board of Directors for Tamparuli Living Arts Center (TALAC) and Forever Sabah, both based in Sabah.
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