Originally from Hong Kong, Lily Yung was a leading figure and key player in the fine craft, art, and design communities in Toronto and Canada for many years. She ignored borders and boundaries that limit creativity, but found interest and stimulation in all areas of the arts and beyond. She was a founding member of *new* gallery, a contributor to Craft journals, and the 2010 recipient of the John Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement.
While completing her PhD in Immunology at the University of Alberta, Lily studied printmaking and subsequently began designing and making jewellery in 1986, specializing in non-precious materials. In 2004, she received an Artist in Residence for Research project grant (supported jointly by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Research Council of Canada), that launched her exploration into the design and fabrication of objects through Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM). The main focus of her work was the creation of unique and limited edition works using Rapid Prototyping (RP) systems, though she also utilized die and laser cutting, CNC milled molds for casting and water jet cutting in her work. The aim of her design work was to integrate the skills of the craft artist and the technologies of manufacturing to fabricate unique jewellery while maintaining a relatively high level of output.
Yung also gave back to the community through her work in mentoring the next generation of practitioners. Her interaction with emerging designers included giving workshops and lectures on her own work as well as taking on student interns and assistants. Her high standards, endless energy and quest for perfection set an example for all to emulate.
Established in 2011 by family, fans and friends, this award honours the memory of Lily Yung, whose unflagging energy and creativity as a mentor, innovator and advocate was so influential in shaping a contemporary craft discourse. Open to artists in any craft discipline, this award acknowledges excellence and innovation in craft as demonstrated by an established professional.
The Craft Awards program is able to take place on an annual basis through the valued support of many generous donors and sponsors. Our thanks go to the following organizations, businesses and individuals: the The Pottery Supply House, Tuckers Pottery Supplies Ltd., FUSION: the Ontario Clay and Glass Association, Lacy West Supplies. Ltd., as well as members and friends of the Mather, Copeland, Corcoran, Walker, Gregor, McPherson, Cochrane, and Shanks families.
Images: Lily Yung, SHArings. Laser cut acrylic, 2006. Variable dimensions, 3 cm - 8 cm h x 2 cm - 3 cm w. Side middle: Lily Yung, Collar. Red felt, die cut and hand assembled, 2006. 76 cm l x 11.5 cm w x 1 cm. Side bottom: Lily Yung, Biovoid Bracelet. Rhino 3D design, Zcorp 3D printer with plastic powder, cyanoacrylate, 2006. 9 cm w x 9 cm l x 6.5 cm h.