Myself Between Others

Florence Yee

A Space Windows

May 3 – September 15, 2019

Curated by: Marissa Largo

Diaspora relies on an unwarranted nostalgia. Through our absorption of a second-hand culture, we are told stories and given objects that have meanings that are sometimes attached to a place that we’ve never known. This false sense of nostalgia operates differently between members of the community and members outside of that community. The objects are in constant negotiation between their status as comforts of the so-called homeland, and meaningless commodification.  


The artworks trace the transformation of diasporic Cantonese signifiers into kitsch, as well as their site-specific histories. As the A Space Windows appear between a commercial vitrine and a plexiglass box, they blur the lines of these art objects between fetish objects for middle-class mantles, objects Othered by their “traditional” appearance in gallery spaces, and contemporary art objects. Challenging the essentialist boundaries of authenticity around the lived experience of culture, the works mimic private and public spaces, questioning belonging and our daily cultivations of nostalgia.  


Florence Yee is a 2.5 generation, Cantonese-struggling visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtia:ke/Montreal. Their interest in Cantonese-Canadian history has informed an art practice examining diasporic subjectivities through the lens of gender, racialization, queerness and language. With a BFA from Concordia University, they are now pursuing an MFA at OCAD U in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design as a SSHRC recipient and Delaney Scholar.

Marissa Largo is a Toronto-based artist and educator. She is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts and Education programs and has a Master’s degree in Art Education from Concordia University. Her works have been presented in several group exhibitions in Montreal and Toronto: From the Pearl of the Orient to Uptown (2007), Departures (2005), Greater than One (2004), MEQ: Misconceptions Elegantly Quenched (2004), Additions (2004) and Smudge (2004). She has had two solo exhibitions: Small World (2003) and Neither Here Nor There (2003).