Lan “Florence” Yee[br]Tips for Surviving the Art World

Tips for Surviving the Art World is a set of seven short form videos that contribute to the democratization of knowledge in the lives of working artists, created by Lan “Florence” Yee. The series continues Lan’s wish to honour the guidance, mentorship, and bonfire talks that have helped them navigate the often-gatekept art world. From fostering communities, to standards of compensation, the videos series builds the blocks of self-advocacy for emerging artists.

VIEW ALL: Tips for Surviving The Art World
– one video is release each Monday and Thursday from September 7th to 28th.

About the Artist

Lan “Florence” Yee is a visual artist and serial collaborator based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. They collect text in underappreciated places and ferment it until it is too suspicious to ignore. Lan’s work has been exhibited at the Darling Foundry (2022), the Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art (2021), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), the Textile Museum of Canada (2020), and the Gardiner Museum (2019), among others. They co-founded the Institute of Institutional Critique with Mattia Zylak in 2019 and the Chinatown Biennial with Arezu Salamzadeh in 2020. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U.


Online at: instagram liveplatform tiktok

Artist’s Practice

Spanning media from textiles to signage, my interdisciplinary practice uses text and labour-intensive creation as a method of “working through” the restrictive belonging we may seek from language, duty, and (re)presentation.  As “hard work” is a main measurement from which racialized & migrant bodies are valued, the contradictions of in/visibility and recognition explore how we may queer desirability. The socio-political and personal history of Cantonese displacement has brought my work to what Desmond Wong calls ‘the intersection of filiality and arrival.’

I collect text in underappreciated places and ferment it until it is too suspicious to ignore. My text-based pieces borrow the institutional pen of templates, academia, and forms, while displacing their functions through skeptical lived experiences. The works use an ironic and humorous tone to recognize the limits of their own structure, and to sustain a necessary uncertainty. The intimacy of this doubt gives me the space to interrogate the multiple losses that make up diasporic memory.

Cynical of liberal multiculturalism, my work attempts to step around easy signifiers of legibility. It recognizes the danger of nostalgia as a site of utopic contemplation, unjustly flattening marginalized existences. It seeks to deromanticize queer, racialized experiences and destabilize linear narratives of intergenerational knowledge by showcasing failure, futility, repetition, and dead ends.