Odella Li


Artist Statement

As a multimedia artist, my creative expression combines textiles, painting, and video to construct a multidimensional space, encouraging viewers to explore the convergence of memory, femininity, and societal constructs. Rooted in personal experiences marked by neglect and control, my work delves deep into the intricate tapestry of emotions stemming from these encounters. The use of textiles, particularly soft yarn, is a central element, symbolizing familial bonds and serving as both a medium of expression and metaphor.

At the core of my narrative lies the image of a colossal golden child, embodying a realm of privilege and unchecked power under a patriarchal society. This character serves as a deity, highlighting the idolization of males within such a system, and shedding light on societal power dynamics. The narrative revolves around the golden child’s insatiable hunger, symbolizing desire and insatiability, and the “big hand tree” represents an overprotective mother figure who controls everything to fulfill the child’s cravings, emphasizing the societal worship of boys within the patriarchal system. This portrayal underscores the complexities of power, desire, and control within the narrative, with other characters like the “scapegoat” and the “fortune teller,” as well as the portrayal of “ordinary” women as sources of sustenance and energy.

My art is a means of catharsis, a vehicle for releasing emotions and experiences, offering insight into the intricacies of my family dynamics and intimate relationships. The interplay of yarn and fabric represents the tension and interconnectedness of emotions. Through whimsical humor, I engage viewers in a conversation about the female experience and the plight of unnoticed daughters in a patriarchal society. In a world where women often face self-sacrifice and toxic cycles, I challenge audiences to reflect on the web of emotions, memories, and societal expectations that shape women’s lives.

Artist Bio

Odella Li, an artist and designer based in New York City, was born in 1997, and raised in China. Li’s artistic journey commenced with a profound interest in diverse forms of visual expression. Currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Parsons the New School for Design, she anticipates graduating in May 2024.

Her academic foundation includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, specializing in General Fine Arts with a concentration in Animation. During her tenure at MICA, Li engaged in various projects, collaborating with NASA scientists to create animations for special events and contributing to exhibitions exploring sustainable art practices.

Yanxi’s professional experiences mirror her versatility and expertise. From serving as a Lighting Designer for Technology Group in Beijing, where she contributed to high-profile projects including the 2020 Winter Olympics ceremonies, to interning at Li Ning Company’s Clothing Product Design Department, her work spans multimedia events, fashion, animation, and textile design. Li’s continues to evolve her artistic practice, inviting viewers to engage with her dynamic and multi-dimensional artworks.