I CAN STAND TALL IN THIS SHALLOW WELL
my happiness is full to the eyebrows the water holds up my cheeks
I can stand tall in this shallow well which is to say that
happiness is having it all but
leaving just enough to the imagination.
I cast unprecious stones in the hopes of drawing jade and the wish to retain
every sort of joy for ten thousand years
in heaven and on earth.
I teach myself to say
all of the swear words with glee and malice bursting into spontaneous peals of laughter I am gasping for air and water
allowing my skin to turn into scales
lithe and golden.
please don’t ask me to absolve you of the gnawing that comes from
deep within your chest,
find another to feed your thoughts.
I am the rightfully ordained heir to the peach blossom spring.
Lorilee Yang’s work utilises painting to explore the nuanced and fractured nature of the diasporic identity through incorporating references to familial history, myth and symbolism. She translates this experience outside of the traditional conventions of language by reinterpreting and hybridising. With a background and formal training stemming from a Western perspective, her work is informed by the lexicon of modernist painting. Through destabilising and subverting these Eurocentric paradigms, she attempts to challenge and claim agency over an identity that is constrained due to gender and exoticisation. Lorilee Yang is an artist based in Naarm (Melbourne). She completed a BFA (with Honours) from the VCA, Melbourne in 2014.