Home > Artists > LI Li

LI LI | 李丽

  • Lives in: Chongqing
Lili (b. 1982) was born in Chongqing, Sichuan, and graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. She can be characterized as part of the “Cartoon Generation” of Chinese artists, a group that emerged in Southern China during the latter half of the 1990s. Her subjects are seemingly cute, loveable animals such as teddy bears, bunnies, and birds, however their violent and grotesque actions imbue the work with a menacing air. The dark, ominous tone lurking beneath the surface of her supposedly innocent and playful cartoon depictions create a scene ripe with tension. The flat, simplified style of line drawing and muted color palette offer a stark contrast to the complex psychological drama subtly unfolding within the composition, amplifying the elements of suspense and uncertainty. Her works are reminiscent of artist Yoshimoto Nara (b. 1959), known for his Japanese Pop art era depictions of bleary-eyed, bobble head cartoon children in pastel hues. At first appearing merely grouchy after being awoken from a nap, upon further consideration, the dangerous weapons clutched in their tiny fists and dour expressions spread across their oversized faces are decidedly seething with loathing and aggression. Since 2004 Lili’s work has been exhibited in various spaces around mainland China, as well as further afield in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil, and the United States.


The works are quite simple, but deciphering them is perhaps a bit complicated. I’m interested in why we love, hate, and always feel unsatisfied. I want to use narrative to describe the relationship between man and man, man and the environment, man and himself—thus creating a space brimming with contradiction, constraint and release.


1982 Born in Chongqing
2005 Graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing
Group Exhibitions
2010 "Do Not Disturb", Eli Klein Fine Art, New York
2008 "Marginality", Gallery J Chen, Taipei
“Cartoon”, Thomas Cohn Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2007 “Cartoon”, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, New York
Guiyang Art Biennale: “Word of Mouth from Four Corners”, Guiyang Art Museum, Guiuyang
“Chan Yu and Li Li”, Gallery J·Chen, Taipei
“Art Singapore 2007”, Singapore
“Art Taipei 2007”,Taiwan
“Shanghai Contemporary 07”, Shanghai
2006 “Our toys our dream our childhood”, 82 Republic, Hong Kong
“Replacement”, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, Beijing
2005 “Archaeology of the future”, 2nd Triennial Of Chinese Art, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing


  • Peaceful
  • $35.00
  • Yummy
  • $35.00