Yijia Li is a painter and curator focusing on discovering how people connect with the world around them. She was born and grew up in Shanghai, China, attended Shanghai University and received a B.A. in Studio Art in 2012, and M.F.A. in Visual Studies (painting and drawing) from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in 2017. She worked as a cataloger and curator in Shanghai Hosane Auction House during 2012-2015. This working experience permitted her to appreciate great art works and artists. While learning how to organize arts and artists by editing catalogs and curating pre-exhibitions for auctions, she never stopped wanting to be an artist. In 2015, she moved to Minneapolis for her MFA program.
She focused on how to tell the stories that have happened in her life through painting and drawing during her undergraduate program. However, with years of studying and working in different fields, and knowing more and more people with different backgrounds, she realized that there should be a common experience that moves beyond a single person’s experience, and could be embodied in everyone’s life in thousands of ways. Therefore, her art making process is not only a process of exploring painting and drawing techniques and skills, or discovering materials, but also, more importantly, a journey to achieve that common experience. Even though, it is not difficult to admit that one may never achieve that goal, she values the process of getting herself closer to it.