Florence Yee is a 2.5 generation, Cantonese-struggling visual artist based in Montreal and Ottawa, unceded territory of Mohawk and Algonquin peoples respectively. While completing her BFA at Concordia University, she works with community groups for visual culture and anti-oppression, such as EAHR (Ethnocultural Art Histories Research). Her interest in Asian-Canadian history has fueled an art practice committed to dismantling institutional and casual ideals of Eurocentric patriarchy, as well as examining the daily life of her diaspora. Yee collaborates with other BIPOC cultural workers to prioritize our voices and mental health. She is a member of Articule, an artist-run-center in the Mile End. She is represented by Studio Sixty-Six, and independently exhibits her work internationally.
Visual reproduction plays a key role in passing down knowledge, as well as recreating the hegemonic dynamics that shape our thinking. From advertising language, to institutional norms, I reproduce these visual cues from my perspective, exposing imagined borders and underlying rationales. Through this methodology of extrapolated copying, I am able to reappropriate mediums and messages that have historically disenfranchised women of colour as a form of truth-telling. To do so, my research results in interdisciplinary work, including oil painting, drawing, fibers and digital media. The results are paradoxically anti-sublime commemorations of ephemera, while also acknowledging their insidiously large role in every day acculturation.
On the other hand, the ways in which cultural reproduction were disrupted in my family have become lifelong conflict between erasure and hybridity. Through the lens of post/decolonial, feminist and critical race theories, I aim to subvert expectations of East Asian narratives in North America, while also situating its privileges in the larger context of Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples’ racialization. My body of work deconstructs the nationalism and pseudo-post-nationalism that Canadians have been trying to use in defining a collective identity. My appearance as a visible minority in Canadian society and my family’s history have influenced much of my work to address preconceived notions of Otherness. It situates itself between my experiences of being a local to Montreal, but also part of a generational diaspora of marginalized and misrepresented people in North America.