Songyang (Lee) Li (born 2000 in Zhejiang China, now lives in Calgary Canada) is a photographer and visual artist.
Spanning the mediums of photographic installation, experimental film, video installation and performance, my artistic practice is inspired by extensive interdisciplinary research and engagement with diverse artists. My multilayered performative works investigate notions of time, which past and present, imagination and reality are brought into relation. Engaging topics such as memory, imagination, migration, borders, and translation. I aim to create work that offers a view into the figurative translations of imaginary transition between everyday objects, body and environment. My works negotiate and mediate the means of representation, resistance, and reconciliation, thus forming alternative genealogies and sites of collective emergence. My work is filled with a sense of isolation, the dark, contrasty scenes and often lonely subjects with intense symbolism seem to mimic his journey from a small town to an overwhelming city.
One week after my fifteen birthday, I moved to Canada as a Chinese international student. I received a camera as a departure present from my father. As a teenager that lives in a foreign country, I experienced isolation from peers and struggled to understand cultural differences. When I felt extreme homesick, I would often look at old photo albums of past memories reminiscing the good times with friends and family. “Perhaps it’s the nostalgia that makes those photographs so meaningful for me, when I was fifteen I picked up the camera and decided to document life and culture of the world as how I experience it so that in years to come.. no matter where I live I can have these precious memories to cherish”. It was this moment that seems to have both provided the spark for my artistic career and led me on a path of exploration through both my internal and external world.