Crip Couture
Chun-Shan (Sandie), Yi
2011

Yi makes wearable art that centers on the histories and narratives generated within and performed by the disabled body through everyday social, cultural and political interaction. Crip Couture focuses on body reconfiguration through mapping the memories and the living experiences of disabled bodies. Yi's work alters the purpose of conventional prosthetics and orthotics, which aim to create standardized body form and function; she merges the idea of prosthetics and jewelry to make a range of garments, accessories and footwear. Her intimate and empathetic bodily adornments are not correctional physical aids, but tools for remapping personal standards of physical comfort and self-defined ideals of beauty. Crip Couture aims to preserve and conserve disability heritage.

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Three shelves, each bearing a wearable artwork from Crip Couture -on the left, a pair of latex shorts lay flat, in the middle, an adorned set of arm braces, on the left, knee-high resin boots. Behind each shelf, two photographs depict a close-up of a model wearing that garment. Image credit: Richard Lomibao.

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"Em-Brace": A pair of white L-shaped braces, which have a hard surface and organic, wavy edges, rest on a white surface. They are cuffed with soft and creamy fabric embroidered with clusters of white and pinkish french knots. A thin mesh fabric forms ruffles on the top of the braces. Image credit: Richard Lomibao.

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Re-Fused Skin Set: On a white surface rests a pair of latex shorts in brown, orange and beige, with two oval-shaped openings framed in white plastic. Behind them rests custom hand jewelry, made with white plastic with fluid and organic contours. Image credit: Richard Lomibao

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Dermis Footwear: On a white surface stand a pair of open-toe calf-height latex boots. Several pieces of latex are joined by black stitches and form negative spaces.