The Artists of 2021: Yee I-Lann
By Chloe Chu
For as long as she has been an artist, Yee I-Lann has been a social and environmental activist attuned to community dynamics. In the cacophonous lead-up to Malaysia’s 2018 general elections, she found herself unable to think clearly, and decided to return from Kuala Lumpur to her birthplace, Kota Kinabalu. Emerging from a desire for meaningful connection, the tikar (mats) that she has since been co-creating with Bajau Laut and Dusun/Murut artists gained traction in 2021, offering models of togetherness and hope to viewers who find themselves isolated and unmoored by the hullabaloo of the pandemic.