Alumni Spotlight: Sandie Yi

Body Talk
An SAIC alumna tells the story of disability through wearable art.
By Anjulie Rao (MA 2014)

Human bodies are storytellers. Even without our voices, our bodies spin yarns about our experience; every scar, crease, and bump possesses a narrative that, though it is told in silence, is spoken daily and directly to the public. The work of SAIC alumna Sandie Yi (BFA 2003, MAAT 2005) brings to light the narratives of the body—specifically, by exploring disability as an aesthetic, she crafts wearable objects that give a voice to the body's narrative.

Yi herself was born in Taiwan with two fingers on each hand, and two toes on each foot. These two facts led to layered issues; the culture of disability in Taiwan, as described by Yi, "is seen as a personal, medical problem and disabled people are expected to conform to the normative standard—[they] praise disabled people who manage to exhibit achievements and behaviors like the nondisabled." This, says Yi, encouraged her to shy away from her own body and bodily experience.

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