Lingjiao Li is a textile designer specialising in print and dye techniques. Her artistic focus revolves around natural dyes and the intricate craft of pleating. She passionately explores the possibilities of plant-based dyes, utilising Chinese medicine, herbs, flowers, and even food waste to create vibrant colour palettes and captivating patterns. In her independent research project, she ventured into various dyeing methods, such as Shibori, bundle dye, indigo, and cross-dyeing, seamlessly combining them with diverse mixed media crafts like hand pleating, smocking, and felting.
Lingjiao's artistic creations are profoundly influenced by the memories of her hometown, delving into the intricate tapestry of Chinese folk culture. The deep-rooted connection to the countryside and the beauty of natural landscapes are central themes in her work. With the significant urbanisation changes witnessed around the year 2000, many villages and rural houses fell into abandonment. Drawing from fragmented memories of the countryside and ancestral homes, she seeks to extract her personal emotional experiences by closely observing the patterns and crafts of ethnic minorities. Her focus in folk art lies in capturing local customs and the essence of everyday life, abundantly portraying natural elements such as mountains, water, animals, agriculture, and houses.
Employing plant-based dyes in her artistic process, she skillfully uses the boiling method to establish the foundational colours, while the bundle dyeing technique allows for the addition of intricate shapes and forms. Lingjiao's incorporation of hand smocking is a result of her commitment to maximising the utilisation of leftover fabrics generated during the dyeing and edge removal processes, as textile remnants are often present. By deftly adjusting the spacing while inserting fabrics into the smocking pleater, she masterfully crafts captivating textures. These textures, when layered with different fabric qualities and an array of vibrant colours, harmoniously intertwine, giving birth to an enchanting interplay of new rhythms.
The artwork represents the harmonious fusion of ethnic crafts and scenic landscapes, showcased through the seamless integration of plant-based dyeing methods in expansive textiles and the skilled incorporation of hand pleating techniques in installations.