CAAF Residency, January – February 2023
Wei Li’s practice involves searching for a visual language to address the complexity of hybrid identity, as well as the subjective and emotional experience of living in a socially and ethnically diverse modern culture. The experience of being an immigrant to Canada provides Wei with crucial inspiration in her practice. This dual cultural background challenges her to integrate different cultural perspectives. The contradictions inherent in forming a new hybrid identity have entered Wei’s work and continue to create tension within it.
During her residency, Wei is creating works that explore a hybrid identity with a strong emphasis on feminity. By applying traditional Chinese floral patterns to an abstract body, she creates a surrealistic ‘piece’ in the composition as an embodiment of her tradition and aesthetics. In these paintings she also incorporates insects and feministic objects to create a contemporary vanitas, which embodies both the vulnerability and strength of the modern woman. In her process, Wei reduces and distorts the nude body is until she finds a balance between figuration and abstraction. The result is female body that is unique and also political, which informs Wei’s own hybrid identity as a Chinese Canadian woman. You can follow Wei Li on Instagram @weiliart