Sandie (Chun-shan) Yi is an assistant professor in the art therapy and counseling department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a disabled artist and disability culture worker whose work focuses on unconventional wearable objects and explores the desire and intimacy shared by the disabled bodymind. Her work addresses the impact of ethical and medical decisions made about the body and the boundary between ethics and aesthetics.
Yi’s art, Crip Couture, calls for a recognition of disability as an aesthetic choice and suggests a new genre of wearable art called “crip fashion.” Crip Couture is Yi’s efforts and practice for cultivating care relationships and helping relationships. The latest rendition of Crip Couture researches and archives disability narratives by collecting bodily artifacts, including skin flakes and hair. Crip Couture aims to preserve disability culture and narratives as heritage.
Yi has a PhD in disability studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master of arts in art therapy from SAIC, and a master of fine arts from University of California, Berkeley. Yi’s academic research interests include disability arts and culture, access pedagogy, disability fashion, and disability culture-informed art therapy. In addition, she is in charge of the Disability Culture Activism Lab, a partnering project with Access Living, the independent living center in Chicago.