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Interview: Jiaxi Li's Wearable Sculptures

Interview: Jiaxi Li's Wearable Sculptures

Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?

Art is a record of humanity and proof of existence in diverse shapes. I am still in the process of finding my unique way of expression. At this very moment, textile or fibre art happens to be a suitable and favourable methodology. The process of knitting and sculpture-making is also a way of meditation.

[Cloud 9.9 Space] 

What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?

I studied fashion design at Parsons, and I thought I would become a fashion designer or a costume designer after my Bachelor’s degree. However, I was strongly gravitated by knitted textile and fibre art during my senior year of BA. So, I moved to London and studied knitted textile design at the Royal College of Art. Knit is such an interesting linked structure. From one single linear thread to a flat surface and finally a three-dimensional space. It is a rhythmic and systematic structure full of possibilities.

Studio View

What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?

The idea of Escapism and Utopia interested me. I want to explore the blurred and undefined tension between reality and illusion. In the project “Cloud 9.9 Space”, I pixelated and digitalised the reality and uploaded a virtual reality space online.

[Cloud 9.9 Space], it's a VR sculpture garden

Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?

My mother was and is the biggest inspiration and influencer of my life and my art. She is the one with whom I feel spiritually connected. We are so different and so same at the same time. Her voice and hug are the remedies dragging me out of self-denial.

Studio Views

Where do you find inspiration?

Art making is a process of self-analysis. Myself, my memories, the atmosphere of my surrounding, and every single object in my daily domestic life are the sources of my inspiration. The objects that allude to the deepest self and the domestic environment enclose the traces of humanity, history, and relationships. 

[My parents, my niece, and my orchid], drawing

Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?

It’s a series of wearable sculptures I made two years ago. It was my first time utilise solid knitted textile as the primary material. At that time, I was still in the texture exploration stage. I experiment with this material and solidify the preconceived softness of knitting. Solidified knit remains pivotal in my current trajectory.

"Object 38", Knitted Textile

How did it begin? and how did it evolve?

The wearable sculptures are part of my fashion knitwear collection. I used the human body as a medium of visual presentation.


What were important lessons in the process that you’ve carried forward with you?

Keep making and keep exploring.

"Object 26", Knitted Textile

What are you working on now?

I am making more sculptures for Cloud 9.9 Space. I will stop making this series once I left London and move on to the next stage of my life. At least now, I don’t think it is finished.

"Object 42", Knitted Textile

If you could go back in time to the very beginning of your art practice and give your younger self a single piece of advice what would it be?

No, I have nothing to regret about. Every single second of my past is precious. Nothing should be changed. All the mistakes shaped me.


About the Artist

Based in London, United Kingdom

Jiaxi Li [镓汐] is a London-based fibre artist who focuses on innovative knit practice with multi-cultural background. Before her master’s studies at the Royal College of Art, Jiaxi majored in fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York. She has built a multidisciplinary art practice in material exploration, art digitalization, craftsmanship, and cross-subject collaboration. As a textile artist, she values the emotion, history, and humanity in each creation.

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