Joy Li is an interdisciplinary artist working with film, performance art, theater and sculpture. She was born in 1999 in Gansu, China. In 2021, she will receive her BA degree in Interdisciplinary Sculpture with a Theater minor at Maryland Institute College of Art. Li has already been included in various important exhibitions including “Communication Strategies: From Checkers to Complex Systems” at Time Art Museum, Sichuan, China, and “Redirecting” at Tree Art Museum, Beijing, China. She has had a solo exhibition at the Gateway Gallery in Baltimore, MD. In 2020, her first theatrical production “Collective Dreaming” was shown in BBOX, MD, and it has been written about by Laurence Ross in BmoreArt.
I’m obsessed with the tension of interactions between objects, emotions, and relationships. I explore the place where things negotiate, where it is difficult to distinguish whether it is hatred or adoration, pain or pleasure, where an object is on the brink of falling. When different forces restrict each other, a delicate balance and ambiguity appear.
I pay attention to these intense and ambiguous situations in the external world. At the same time, I dig into my own desires and feelings and try to reach the depths. I believe that although I tell stories from a personal perspective, I still touch the emotions that we all share. After all, the most personal is the most universal.
Through my works, I create dreams and games which show authentic feelings and emotions under fictional circumstances and blur the boundary between the real and the fictional. The human body, especially my own body which is the material that I spend every second of my life with, is the backbone of my art practice. I make wearable sculptures to create characters, install stage sculptures to build the environment, and form narratives to guide the plot. The performer doesn’t act but reacts to the surroundings. In these fabricated settings / spaces, the feeling of the performing human body is authentic.
In dreams, we discover our deep and even disgraceful desires; in games, we experience the truth while playing and pretending. I want to invite the audience to experience these for themselves through my works.