Yong Xiang Li

In his practice, Yong Xiang Li draws on a diversity of media. His main interest, however, lies in the border-crossing intersections between painting, sculpture, music and video. Influenced by a recipro-cal understanding of culture and diaspora experience, the artist challenges ideas of sovereignty and existing power-structures by engaging in contaminations that aim at media, formal and cultural speci-ficities.

Li’s figurative painterly practice brings to life protagonists that linger in alternate states of object- and subject-hood. Here, meticulously constructed painted surfaces are commonly set in dialogue with their surroundings and their often sculptural support. The resulting spatial-temporal peculiarities point to the hybrid flows of cultural histories that constitute the works’ existence and defy easy categoriza-tions. Moreover, the artist engages heterogeneous painterly styles to attempt a “queer inhabitation” of acknowledged art history: an exploration of queer subjectivity and agency mediated through a se-ries of assimilations, dis-identifications and transmutations.

Yong Xiang Li (born 1991 in Changsha, China) lives and works in Berlin. He completed his Meisterschüler in visual arts with Judith Hopf at the Städelschule, Frankfurt in 2020. His work has been shown internationally, including UCCA Edge, Shanghai (2023), Paris +, par Art Basel, Paris; Kunsthaus Wiesbaden (2022), Futura, Prague (2021), Antenna Space, Shanghai; Portikus, Frankfurt; Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna (all 2020), Jean Claude Maier, Frankfurt; Long March Project, Beijing; Galleria Acappella, Naples (all 2019). In September 2023, Yong Xiang Li's work will be presented at GIBCA-Göteborg Biennial for Contemporary Art.

CV + Selected Press