Michelle Yi Martin is a multi-disciplinary artist and self-taught weaver, based in San Francisco. She actively draws on her Korean immigrant roots in her practice. Characterizing her work as an active conversation between convention and history, utility and adornment, Yi Martin primarily works on a floor loom producing woven abstract works. Her three-dimensional monofilament hangings, freeform textural sculptures, and conceptual installations explore the haptic intersection of material, light, and space.
As an educator of the humanities for over 20 years, Yi Martin earned her BA from Santa Clara University, CA, and her MA from the University of San Francisco, where she became active in the Teaching for Excellence and Social Justice program. She completed residencies at Textilsetur in Blönduós, Iceland (2017); the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, CT (2019); and the Space Program in San Francisco (2020).
Yi Martin received a grant from the Danish Arts Council to exhibit her work in Aarhus, Denmark (2019). As well, she has exhibited at the Textile Center in Iceland; Ovartaci in Denmark; Nationale in Portland, OR; Round Weather in Oakland, CA; the Berkeley Art Center, CA; and Grove Collective in London. Her practice of "weaving light" was also featured as part of the Anni Albers exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art, and she was a Black Mountain College contributing artist.
Beyond her individual practice, Yi Martin collaborates with other multi-disciplinary artists to produce integrated works of music, dance, light installations, and animation. Her upcoming work with the artist collective ESG will be featured on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage in Dumbo, Brooklyn, as part of the Light Year installations. Additionally, she and her family are founders of the cycling and media brand, MASH, which continues to be a small business and community space for art and design in San Francisco.