Li Li Ren

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Li Li Ren (b. 1986, Heilongjiang Province, China) lives and works in London, where she gained her BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in 2010, and her MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2017. 

Across her practice, Ren negotiates the constantly morphing relationships between objects in space. In her built environments, which expand beyond the physical exhibition space into imagined realms situated between the biologically understood or plausible, and the highly-fantastical, she approximates certain shapes, subjects and environments, while also subverting them through unexpected material applications and abstractions — for example, hard glass cosplaying as soft jelly. In this world-building exercise, the artist often incorporates forms associated with the Anthropocene, the ocean, biology, altered states and maternity, ultimately desiring to queer and elude those connotations to flatten and destabilise humanism through an amplification of the similarities, as well as the strangeness, of human and non-human existence.

Her recent works continue her interest in the formation and application of memory; how fragments are forgotten, material associations are formed, and histories are layered. These become vital tools for building narrative within her visual language.

Solo exhibitions include: The World Forgetting, by the World Forgot, Sherbet Green, London, UK (2024); Sunset as Burning Bruise, Magician Space, Beijing, CN (2022) and Frantumaglia, Qimu Space, Beijing, CN (2021).

Group exhibitions include: Spring Sprang Sprung, Hunsand Space, Beijing, CN (2024); Dimensions Variable, Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Beijing, Beijing, CN (2024); Absence/Encore: The Flow of Art and Value, MOCA Yinchuan, Yinchuan, Ningxia, CN (2024); Frieze Sculpture, London, UK (2023); Home is where the haunt is, X Museum, Beijing, CN (2023); Sculptural vibe cutting through (in) accessible sites, Gravity Art Museum, Beijing, CN (2023); Into My Arms, Sherbet Green, London, UK (2023); Memorias del subdesarrollo, Qimu Space, Beijing, CN (2021); In/Out, Guardian Art Center, Beijing, CN (2020); Silence in Violence, Spectrum Art Space, Shanghai, CN (2018); Camden Arts Centre, London, CN (2017).

Landscape from Within, 2022, canvas, yarn, silicone, Morchella, snake slough, lotus seed, 400 × 200 cm

In the Eyes of a Blue Boy, 2022, bronze, glass, stainless steel tube, 170 x 24 x 24 cm

Vortex, 2022, stainless steel, resin, color concentrates, 50 x 60 x 15 cm

The Direction of Tears, 2022, bronze, silicone, 20 x 50 x 25 cm

A display of a howling sound, 2019, steel tube, baked paint, plastic, silicone, fishing line, 145 x 130 x 300 cm