Interview: Li Lin-Liang
Luca Curci talks with Li Lin-Liang during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Li Lin-Liang is a photographer trained as a filmmaker at the Beijing Film Academy. She holds a Ph.D. Film history and theory from Beijing Film Academy and MFA at State University of New York at New Paltz. Previously, she worked as an associate professor at the Shanghai Theater Academy. As a co-screenwriter and script supervisor, she has released three films in China. She is currently working for the Shanghai International Film Festival as a selection jury member. Li Lin-Liang has published two books on Chinese film history and film reviews. Her photography uses composites cinematic realities that capture the way we process memories and time.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Li Lin-Liang – Art for me is like a mirror. I am the only child in my family. When I was young, I always played another one and talked with myself via the mirror. Sometimes I found the mirror person looks more close to an authentic self. When I grew up, taking pictures, drawing, or writing scripts became a way to build a conversation with myself, just like via the mirror to talk with myself, find myself and catharsis emotion.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
LLL – Female identity, especially immigrant female identity. I try to write stories or take still pictures.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
LLL – I think every project has different challenges. For my current project, which shows in your gallery so far, named Together / Alone-Under Suburban Sky, was how to condense a story to one picture. I used to write scripts, there were a lot of scenes, dialogues, and roles in my mind when I was writing. However, there is a big difference between writing a script and making images. How to use just one picture to show the whole story is just a big challenge for me. I tried some different ways. Finally, I found using long exposures could help me figure out my issues. I dressed up as an ordinary suburban housewife to create dramatic conflict. I do like the 16:9 ratio, it looks like film footage. In this project, my work expresses the immigrant mothers’ daily life via long exposures in a 16:9 ratio.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
LLL – I focused on suburban female lives. I titled my project as Together/ Alone-Under Suburban Sky, which was related to the feelings of suburban female, housewife, mother.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
LLL – Very hard. However, how hard work means is how many opportunities as well.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LLL – I do like the concept “Borders”. Culture and art have no boundaries. Even if somebody builds walls artificially, people still breathe the same air. This concept reminds us of our lives, maybe somebody still in stay-at-home order.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
LLL – Part of the preexisting project, Together/ Alone. For the past two years, this project has been the primary source material in creating a body of work that explores the migrant narrative and my suburban housewife experience, albeit through a personal lens. And my project is inspired by Berry Friedan’s novel “The Problem Has No Name”. Photography is an effective way to depict real scenes in life and can challenge the norms of female sexuality, beauty, domesticity, and identity. While I need to decipher and address my own life is personal.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LLL – I really appreciate you guys organizing this event, giving international artists opportunities to show their works, and also have chances to talk with the audience via interviews.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
LLL – Very nice, professional, and thoughtful.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
LLL – Of course. Really appreciate it, and hope I can attend again.