Carmen Li

Artist Statement

Art has always been my preferred language for communication — as an artist, a dancer, and a mother, creation comes naturally as a mode of expression. Mixed media collage is the voice through which I work to fulfill the innate human needs of being seen and heard.

Like any artist, my work is inspired by my experiences, but those experiences and the way they are understood are unique to each person. The balance between individual and shared experience runs throughout all the subjects of my work — from migration, dreams, encroaching communist rule, travel, and identity. I use my art like a magnifying glass, teasing out the crucial details and encapsulating these elements in a finished work. Each work of art is my effort to shine a light on the unexamined parts of life, like single, shimmering threads in the tapestries of our lives that so often go unnoticed.

Growing up in a compact home and female in a male-dominated society, the need to be heard is acutely familiar. Creating art has been the language I speak when words fall short. The creative process itself motivates my work, a never-ending cycle of giving miniature lives to my thoughts and emotions — taking them from inception to culmination. From my childhood till today, the journey of creation has been a process that feels as natural as life itself.

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