Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Kebebasan Asasi / Fundamental Liberties
Kebebasan Asasi / Fundamental Liberties

Yee I-Lann’s L.E.D. scrolling text Hak Asasi/Fundamental Liberties spells out the sections of the Malaysian constitutions related to the concept of fundamental liberties in seven different languages used in Malaysia. The work repositions the founding article of the nation, connecting the textual source with the pictorial horizons that make up Malaysia, suggesting that these two domains of how we come to regard ourselves are connected.

Electronic led array with red diodes
48 x 640 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Yee I-Lann
About Yee I-Lann

Yee I-Lann (b. 1971, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo) currently lives and works in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah. Her primarily photomedia-based practice engages with archipelagic Southeast Asia’s turbulent history with works addressing issues of colonialism and neo-colonialism, power, and the impact of historic memory in social experience, often with particular focus on counter-narrative “histories from below”. She employs a complex, multi-layered visual vocabulary drawn from historical references, popular culture, archives, and everyday objects. She has in recent years started working collaboratively with sea-based and land-based communities and indigenous mediums in Sabah. She is a co-founding associate of The Ricecooker Archives: Southeast Asian Rock ‘n’ Roll Treasury with her partner Joe Kidd and has worked as a production designer in the Malaysian film industry. She is currently a Board member for Forever Sabah and Tamparuli Living Arts Center (TaLAC), both based in Sabah.

Learning Section

  • The title of the artwork is Fundamental Liberties. This refers to the guaranteed rights and freedoms that all human beings are granted by the Malaysian constitution. Do you know what these rights are? Are they the same in every country? What are the most important human rights? Is it ever ok to lose your rights?

  • The artist has translated the text of the fundamental liberties into seven languages that are used in Malaysia.  Can you name all the seven languages used? Why did the artist translate the words into these languages? What  do you think the artist is trying to express with this piece?