Li Zhiyao (1999, China) is a designer and photographer currently based in London. Her work often explores the self-expression of the contemporary female body in the context of the internet, and the often misinterpreted and commercially co-opted image of the female body in a patriarchal society.
In my long-standing creative practice, I have focused on the self-expression of the contemporary female body in the context of the internet, and the current situation where the female body image is often misinterpreted and commercially co-opted in a patriarchal society.
In this personal practice, I try for the first time to explore the self through self-image. Often, the female body's self-perception comes from external influences rather than from within. As I grew up in a traditional and highly controlled family environment, I was nurtured by family stereotypes and bound by cocoons. The numbness and emptiness created by the confines of the family is unspeakable, and I want to explore myself through the illusory comfort of the internet screen. Food is transformed into a substitute for bodily fluids and women are presented as visual objects for consumption. The two images highlight my ambivalence.
Based on the moving image, I experimented with physical installations to illustrate the project. Living abroad away from my parents has also temporarily removed me from the surveillance and control of my patriarchal family and kinship society, leading me to constantly reflect on and explore the impact of my family environment and education on myself. The installation is a wooden box, a vehicle for preserving and collecting memories of the family environment and memories. These images and installations are a confession and a physical manifestation of my inner self, a contradiction or a reconciliation, and when I am at a point where I am now free from the confines of my family, the influences that my family has brought to me have become part of my self-consciousness and my strongest backbone against adversity.