chinese contemporary art
Artists >> Li Li

The cartoon trend among young Chinese artists was first recognised in creative circles in Guangzhou in the mid to late 1990s. The so called 'Cartoon Generation' consists of young artists, mostly in their twenties, using cartoon-like imagery in their paintings. The figures are simplified usually with selected body parts totally out of proportion to the rest. Li Li's creatures have enormous round heads on minute bodies. In some works the head is all one sees. The graphic technique gives the artist great license for exaggeration and contradiction. Some of Li Li's works depict the most violent scenes but presented in the cartoon style the violence seems silly, even ridiculous. The adoption of the whole cartoon ethos also allows the artist to step into the world of the fantastic. In one of Li Li's early works she is tearing another person in two with great relish - something actually impossible but in the world of cartoons who cares? In another work she cuts her own neck, with scissors, and bloodless stuffing comes out. In another a gardener cultivates trees in the brains of three heads with the top of their skulls cut off.