RBC Artist Incubator Lab

Meet Emerging Artist in Residence Florence Yee

April 29th, 2021


We are pleased to welcome Florence Yee to the RMG as part of the RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program. Florence’s residency will be taking place virtually. To learn more about Florence’s artistic practice visit their profile.



In this blog post, Florence shares what they are currently working on and thinking about.

I’ve been working on a few iterations of my embroidered watermarks in the last few months. The first one featured the Chinatown Anti-Displacement Garden in Toronto’s Chinatown Centre Mall, seen in the midst of a conflict of commodification. The second embroidered photograph features the feet of two people on a bed. The most recent one shows a hand pointing through a recipe booklet handwritten in Chinese.

The word PROOF  has been my departure point in queering memory, particularly photographs. As the main medium of archives, they set a precedence for what evidence should look like. The emphasis on the legible subject relies on our familiarity with it, or how much is made available to the viewer.

Florence Yee, PROOF – Chinatown Anti-Displacement Garden, hand embroidered thread on inkjet-printed cotton voile, 51” x 37″, 2020.

This leads me to also question the power of visibility. It is used as a tool of representation in queer communities of colour, but can easily be a trap of marketing, tokenization, and performativity. How can the image and its endurance best serve us? The PROOF watermark has been a reclamatory gesture for me, as it brings the image back to an unfinished, unowned, and “unusable” state. They are still drafts of an archive.

The durational aspect of this work has been a double-edged sword in my practice. As a recovering workaholic, the isolating times have left me with little of the collectivity I seek to imagine better conditions for ourselves. It brings me back to a certain futility that doesn’t feel helpful at this current moment, but it longs for more.


Join me in the Studio!

Open Studio Sessions


June 24 and July 8, 2021

From 2-3PM, I invite you to virtually drop by my open studio to chat about your ideas, my ideas, our gardening habits, or just ask each how we can be better at not burning out in this moment.

Follow this link to my virtual studio: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82704612271



The RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation and the RBC Emerging Artist Project.

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