Farrah Li is a Chinese artist, living and working in the UK. With her work, she is interested in exploring new identities for everyday objects and even for herself. Broadly speaking, the themes explored in her work range from environmental concerns to migration, exile and gender issues.
The first group show she attended was in 2019 at Tate Modern. At the beginning of 2020, she also joined another interim show which was held by CSM where she was studying and teaching. Her current project is the exploration of the intimate relationship between people and the environment through performance. She prints in animate objects and by creating the stories, she gives them identity and movement in space and time. Her chosen mediums are wood, plastic and fabric. When she focuses on creating imagery, she also uses moving images to express as well as recording emotions. In this way, she creates a connection between time, space, and the viewers.
From her point of view, everyday objects can defamiliarize the viewer’s traditional perception of things by creating new meanings, also allowing the emergence of what she calls “fake identities”. For the original, is only about the temporal sequence an object appears in, and not about an ontological truth. In other words, fake is already an artificial idea that distinguishes the original from the unoriginal. Her artwork aims at investigating how identity changes in the relationship with its surroundings. Following Heidegger, she believes that by extracting the “thingness” from the things, she can further explore the external environment’s influence on what we generally call “identity”, sometimes even in a playful way, like with the ladder on the paper or the body on the silk. Most importantly, with her work Farrah questions the origin of the concept of identity. With all these questions in mind, her work builds a dialogue with current issues that discuss the interconnection between internal and external, individual, and spiritual as well as the society which identity is entangled with.