Yilin Li

My interdisciplinary art practice is inspired by childhood experiences living with my grandma for seven years in an underdeveloped village in China, moving to a city and remaining separated from my parents for nine years and, for the past six years, living abroad as a foreign student. Based on experiences of domestic and transnational migration, I strive to visualize and contextualize personal and collective memory while simultaneously exploring universal concepts of displacement, social dynamics, and the transience of human endeavor.





Returning, a performance work exploring connections between the past and the present, mimics the gestures of bricklaying into a partial and translucent wall in front of an abandoned ancestral home with traditional red bricks. This home was built in the Mid-Qing Dynasty by my ancestors. By repeating the action of laying bricks as the original laborers constructing the building, I aim to visualize the loss of memory regarding family histories while negotiating myself within this lively but dead space.

Full version (length: 2 hours, 19 minutes):




Returning (video still)

Yilin Lin - Vanishing

Returning (video still)

Yilin Li - Vanishing

Returning (video still)

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THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

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