DTLA LIFE MAG #32 | SPRING 2017 - Page 54

Destiny sometimes reveals itself as ‘time and place.’ The culmination of all personal elements is suddenly given a stage. There is an opening, a moment where life-lessons are translated into belief systems and pas- sions, vision forms and a creative voice is born. In the case of contempo- rary Chinese mixed-media calligraphy artist Ni Li, that place happened to be Los Angeles. The time, Now. Born and raised in Shanghai, Ni Li studied the ancient art of Calligraphy from early childhood on. A poet herself, Li devoured classic literature, poetry, philosophy, and psychology. Her early career as a journalist and TV host for a conservative financial program, circuitously enabled her to come to America in 2016. Finally, freedom from censorship allowed her to express her deeply held personal beliefs and views, which at home were considered too controversial, inappropriate and dangerous. Ni Li the artist was born. Ni Li embraces the concept of “creative struggle – moving in and out of comfort zones, to find different perspectives on viewing life.” juxtapo- sition is a key component to Ni Li’s artworks. They contrast ancient and classic with modern and contemporary, discipline versus freedom and flow, East and West. Her mixed-media works fuse the elements of Pho- tography, Calligraphy – in some cases applied directly to the model’s skin - and Narrative. Together, they aim at our psyche on multiple levels, combining not only Yin and Yang but the element of Chi. The series, “We are part of the culture,” is at its core a feminist manifesto, celebrating and uplifting female beauty and power. It is the opposite of objectification, specifies Ni Li, because of the intention, the spiritu- al energy and content that stands behind and is put into the work. It is a series that physically could not have been created in China, says the artist. Seen in the context of a country, where the female form is valued and supported only in submission, this is beyond controversial; it is an act of open rebellion. “I believe destiny brought me here…By creating this body of work, I can perhaps be an inspiration to other artists and people, especially women, at home.” For more information on Ni Li and her mixed-media calligraphy series, please contact GDCA Gallery.   GDCA GALLERY 727 South Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90014 (323) 309 2875 pw@gdcagallery.com www.gdcagallery.com Photos Courtesy of GDCA Gallery