April 28 – June 10, 2023
The Main Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday April 28th, 7 -10 pm
In my practice, I’m searching for a visual form to address the complexity of hybrid identity, as well as the subjective and the emotional experience of living in a socially and ethnically diverse modern culture. The experience of being an immigrant to Canada provides me with crucial inspiration in my practice. This dual cultural background not only provides me with a broader ability to see diverse energies in society but also challenges me to integrate different cultural perspectives. The contradictions inherent in forming a new hybrid identity have entered my work and continue to create tension within it.
In my new digital series, I retexture the surface of the digital sculpted models that I create on the computer with photo scanned high-res human skin texture to grant those objects a sense of humanness. I explore the possibility of creating a new vision of hybridity. By replacing parts of the objects with the human body/skin, I recreate a paradoxical human-object hybrid, which triggers the viewer’s visceral and emotional responses. The gestures in my works are symbolic and metaphoric. I use the body/skin as a material to activate social commentary on identity, diaspora, femininity, motherhood, and popular culture. With the advanced modern technology — combining the powerful digital sculpting technique with photo scanned high-res human skin texture — I create digitized surrealistic objects which are materialized by breathable, lifelike, moisturized human skin. I look for a representational possibility that combines digital aesthetics with traditional art-making sensibilities. This new series of digital prints address the psychological experience of hybridity within our society, in the meantime, echo our complex reality in a subtle and meditative way.
Wei Li is an emerging artist whose experience of being an immigrant to Canada provides her with crucial inspiration in her practice. Having grown up in China and trained as a contemporary artist in the West, her dual cultural background challenges her to integrate different cultural perspectives and creates tensions through the contradictions inherent in forming a new hybrid identity.
Li completed her BFA (with Distinction) from the University of Alberta in 2017 and since has participated in shows/residency across Canada and the US. She has had solo shows at the Art Gallery of St Albert and Harcourt House Artist Run Centre. In 2017, Li was a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and her work was shown at the National Gallery of Canada.
Top Image: Chilli Sauce (detail), 2021; digital image
Photo courtesy of the artist