Julie Lai & Amanda Yamasaki
Julie Lai (b. 1995) is from the Bay Area, CA and is a visual artist based in Chicago, IL. Working primarily with sculpture, installation, and drawings, Lai composes material dialogues that reference and respond to bodily experiences of geographical and cultural displacement as a person of Chinese diaspora. She is interested in recontextualizing the material and formal hierarchies found within Chinese ceramic traditions, and in using the ceramic vessel as both a literal and allegoric performative body to express the psychological of marginalized identity. Through her work, Lai navigates the ambiguities of identity and belonging in contemporary Western society and reimagines/celebrates marginalized experience as a place of improvisation and hybridism.
Amanda Yamasaki is a visual artist, designer and engineer working within the intersection of art and technology. Through her work, she explores the relationship of body to object by researching the implications of systems, structures, and networks of communication to contextualize both private and public spaces. This research manifests in collaborative objects and systems for inclusive civic engagements. Yamasaki has presented works at spaces such as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, the Salone del Mobile, Milan, and Northwestern University. She has been featured on platforms such as Core77, ChicagoMag, and as a highlight from the 2017 Milan Design Week by Design Milk. Yamasaki is currently an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a mentor for the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology.