It's bound to be a warm and welcoming community arts weekend when acclaimed artist Yee I-Lann is in town.
Her long-awaited artist monograph Yee I-Lann: the sun will rise in the east together will be launched tomorrow (July 2) at Ilham Gallery in Kuala Lumpur at 3pm. An accompanying "essays and conversations-only" publication Yee I-Lann: At The Table will also be available at the launch.
This free admission event, will be hosted by Ilham Gallery, in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Lift The Tikar!, part of the Borneo Heart arts programme in Kuala Lumpur, which began earlier this year.
"I am excited this book is about to go into the world. My hope for it is that it can help contribute to dialogues about art, community, storytelling, ideas and is a celebration of diversity, of women's hasil tangan, foregrounds working together and sharing mats,” says Yee.
Yee I-Lann: the sun will rise in the east together is a 216-page monograph tracing the arc of the Kota Kinabalu, Sabah-based Yee's creative practice from 2011 to 2023. In doing so, it traverses different geographies and maps unfolding lines of thinking, bringing us along on an adventure across languages, and across philosophies for living in the world.
"Three years in the making and published in the Diamond Jubilee 60th anniversary year of the formation of Malaysia, readers will find in this book stories of Borneo and of Malaysia, of colonialism and pontianak, of different ways of thinking about politics, language, architecture, culture, collaboration and community," reads the media notes.
The monograph brings together documentation of photomedia, video, text and woven works by Yee, many made in collaboration with weavers and other fellow makers from Sabah, shown in Malaysia and at major exhibitions around the world through the past 12 years.
It includes essays and interviews by Yee, artist and critic Ray Langenbach, writer and literary translator Pauline Fan, geographer Nalini Mohabir, curator Eriko Kimura, artist and academic Lucy Davis and Beverly Yong (editor), also featuring conversations with weavers Noraidah Jabarah, Roziah Jalalid, Siat Yanau, Lili Naming, Shahrizan Juin and Julitah Kulinting, and 112 pages of colour images.
"I am excited to have several rarely read interviews and articles from the past decade or so collated into a book and to be able to celebrate the work I've made with various communities over the years in one place. It's been an intense time of making but when I flick through the sun will rise in the east, I am overwhelmed by memories of the process, of people who have joined this journey with me," says Yee.
"I love that we have an essay translated into Kadazan language and that we were able to print an interview with Budi (Noraidah Jabarah) in her original Bajau language. Just to see our Sabah languages in print form is a thrill. It's a really fat book, and joyful," she adds.
The book is in English, with some texts in Kadazandusun, Bajau, and Bahasa Malaysia. The essays and conversations are also published in an 80-page book, Yee I-Lann: At The Table, to be released concurrently. Both books, published by RogueArt, are edited by Beverly Yong, with design by Ming Tung.
A dialogue and sharing session Culture, Collaboration & Community: A Discussion On The Mat, featuring the Borneo Heart collaborators and beyond, will also take place at Ilham Gallery at 1pm tomorrow, followed by Yee's book launch programme at 3pm.
More info here.