Xiao-Yang Li

b. 1985, Harbin, China


2012–2013 MRes Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London
2011–2012 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London

Artist’s Statement

My works attempt to understand the mythical, the unknown and their relationship with paint itself. Through ways of exploring form and colour I seek to convey a sense of the transcendental. Central to my concern is the moment in which the figure (human or animal form) is transformed into a subject of the mythical and the archetypal so that it exists on its own, outside the limitation of time and become timeless In this process I examine the nature of myth and strive to invent a new myth.

The works included in this year’s New Contemporaries come from my on-going project Enkidu based around my studies of human & animal figurines from early Greek and Mesopotamian periods. The obstacle or the question is one of representation: what defines a human figure and an animal figure aesthetically and philosophically? The human and the bestial were both present in many of the antique objects I’ve looked at, their relationship remains an intriguing element, and my challenge as an artist is to provoke this intrigue by the language of painting, so that it gives rise to all kinds of senses and experiences, so that it becomes the myth.

Recent Exhibitions

2013 Slice, Hanmi Gallery, London
2013 The Other Art Fair, Truman Brewery, London
2013 Q-Art End of Year Show, APT Gallery, London
2012 Hello and Goodbye, Cremer Street, London
2012 Painting in Conversation, Bussey Building, London

Awards and Residencies

2014 Can Serrat Artist Residency stipend, Barcelona
2010 Prince’s Drawing School Bursary, London
2006 Memorable Recipients Commission, IPA Awards, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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