October 7 – December 18, 2022
Currents is a gallery space dedicated to recognizing the work of emerging and evolving California artists. Featuring a different artist every two months, Currents presents a range of media, styles, and genres.
Being able to call a place “home” has been a throughline during my 41 years as a woman, mother, partner, educator, activist, artist, and San Francisco resident. Whether on my journey of rooting even deeper as a Korean American-immigrant to the ever-transitioning metamorphosis called motherhood, home has always been in the “in between” space. I used to fight being in this space, but now I prefer it.
As a Korean American immigrant, I have always lived in the “in-between” space, which is the place where all the threads of one’s identity intersect. This intersection is a balancing act—and although never fully achieved, the act defines me.
Simultaneously, the language of materials speaks to me. It is an ancient language where fiber, textiles, and weaving are foremost connected to humanity’s needs for clothing, vessels for food and water, and shelter. My work responds to this calling, yet with a desire to construct without the constraints of necessity and expectation, to construct forms belonging to one world and the next.
– Michelle Yi Martin
About the Artist
Michelle Yi Martin is a self-taught weaver, born in Seoul, South Korea, and based in San Francisco, California. She has been an educator of the humanities, interdisciplinary art, and progressive education for over 20 years. Yi Martin earned a BA from Santa Clara University, CA, and an MA from the University of San Francisco. She has exhibited at the Textile Center in Iceland; Ovartaci Museum in Denmark; Nationale in Portland, OR; Round Weather in Oakland, CA; the Berkeley Art Center, CA; and Grove Collective in London, UK. Yi Martin’s experimental “weaving of light” was featured as part of the Anni Albers exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT (2020) and the Copenhagen Light Festival (2022). Her work with the artist collective ESG was featured on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage in Dumbo, Brooklyn, as part of the Light Year installations (2021). Additionally, she has been awarded commissions for permanent artwork installations by Meta Open Arts (2022) and San Francisco’s newly developed Pier 70 (2023). Michelle Yi Martin is represented by Municipal Bonds in San Francisco where she presented her first solo exhibition in 2021.
Image: Michelle Yi Martin, Hold On 1, 2020, Paper and ink, 25 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist and Municipal Bonds.