Lan “Florence” Yee

I Was a Cut Sleeve


Sleeve Band (1800 - 1985) by unknown maker(s), China, silk and silk floss

Lan "Florence" Yee, I was a cut sleeve (2023), video 4:08 min

Lan collects text in underappreciated places and ferments it until it is too suspicious to ignore. Their text-based pieces borrow the institutional pen of templates and forms, while displacing their functions through skeptical lived experiences. 

Lan chose to highlight a sleeve band from the Textile Museum’s collection, thought to be cut off from the original garment to be more marketable as a flat decorative item. According to the sleeve’s archival file, it was donated by Fred Braida, the developer who gave five floors of his new condo building to the museum that housed it. By merging fact with speculative fiction, they used research on the second-hand Chinese clothing market from looted palaces and the past projects of the Textile Museum to craft a life’s narrative imagined from the perspective of the sleeve band. The video’s critical fabulation recognizes the limits of its own structure to sustain a necessary uncertainty. The intimacy of this doubt gives them the space to interrogate the multiple losses that make up diasporic memory.

About  the  Artist:  Lan  “Florence”  Yee

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. Along with Arezu Salamzadeh, they co-founded the Chinatown Biennial in 2020. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U.

*Headshot credit goes to Ananna Rafa & Jenn Qu


Mending the Museum (2023)
Workshop Series:
   Narrative Charm
   Blackout Poetry
   Play it Forward
   Cloning and Paper Clay


About the Collective
Members of the Collective

Mending the Museum is a collaborative duo comprised of Karina Román Justo and Camila Salcedo. Together, their intent is to work as a bridge between artists, communities, regional museums, and craft objects from their collections, to reflect on ancestry and speculative futures within the framework of cultural belonging.

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Brand identity, website design and development by Natasha Whyte-Gray, 2023.