Here & Now - Wei Li

Date: Apr 16, 2024

About the artworks

Wei Li's artworks, Chilli Sauce and Spout Cup are part of a digital series, Vessels which explores the complex intersectionality of hybrid identity. (Click arrows above on either side of the image to see each work.)

These artworks are included in the Here & Now exhibition at the Royal Alberta Museum until September 29, 2024. Learn more about the exhibition.

The AFA acquired these two artworks through its Art Acquisition by Application program in 2023. This program is designed to acquire contemporary works of art by any eligible Alberta artist.

Artist statement

The following is an excerpt of Wei Li's artist statement Read the full statement.

In my digital series, I look for a representational possibility that combines digital aesthetics with traditional art-making sensibilities. By replacing parts of ordinary objects with the human body/skin, I create grotesque anthropomorphic hybrid containers which trigger the viewer’s visceral and emotional responses. The gestures in my works are symbolic and metaphoric. I use the body/skin as material to activate social commentary on identity, diaspora, femininity, motherhood, and popular culture.

Artist profile

Get to know Wei as she shares the stories behind her new digital series, Vessels, and a bit about herself in her AFA Artist Spotlight.

Wei Li is a Calgary-based emerging Chinese Canadian visual artist, whose experience of being a new immigrant to Canada, provides her with crucial inspiration in her artistic practice. Her dual cultural background challenges her to integrate different cultural perspectives in her works and creates tensions through the contradictions inherent in forming a new hybrid cultural identity.

Li graduated in 2017 with BFA in Painting (with Distinction) from the University of Alberta and has participated in several exhibitions and artistic residencies across Canada and the United States of America, including the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Artist Residency in 2021. Her first major solo exhibition, Curious Things was featured in August of 2017 in the Art Incubator Gallery at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in Edmonton.

Li was a finalist in the 2017 RBC Canadian Painting Competition with her works showcased at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. Recently, Wei has expanded her practice to the digital medium. She was the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Digital Artist Award in 2022, and her digital works were acquired as part of the EQ Bank’s digital art collection and were presented at the Trinity Square Video in Toronto.

Go to the exhibition