Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Li Chai @ Fibreworks 2014

Li Chai Soreness II, 2013; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Nadia Li Chai and I were both artists-in-residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and I learned a lot from her quiet, thoughtful, intelligent presence. Over the many years that I have watched her work evolve, I have noticed a strong theme: Her textile work is based on the body. For her MFA thesis exhibition at NSCAD, she created work about her pregnancy titled Wearable Memory: I was my baby's home for one year. Later she created a textile called Dermoid Tumor, now in the collection of the Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario. She's at it again with Soreness II.
Li Chai Soreness II, 2013; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Li Chai was born in China and came to Canada to do her MFA in textiles at NSCAD. After graduation, she moved to Toronto to be an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront where she continues to live.

Artist Statement: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, stagnation causes pain/soreness. Soreness II, the soft sculpture of organic form, is constructed to imitate an imaginary stagnated mass and explore the theme of soreness both physically and psycho-emotionally.
Li Chai Soreness II, 2013; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Soreness II: Polyester thread, fishing line, acupuncture needles, wire
Li Chai Soreness II, 2013; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Artist bio: Li Chai received an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax) in 2003. She has received numerous awards and participated in group shows within Ontario and the United States. Her work is represented in the Cambridge Galleries (Idea Exchange) permanent collection of contemporary Canadian textile work.

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