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About I-Wei Li

Friday 20 November 2009, by I-WEI LI

Born in Taiwan and brought up in Canada, my first degree in Commerce from Simon Fraser University led me to work as a banker in Kenya until 2002. After graduating from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2008 with a BA in Art (1st Class Hons), I moved to Berlin to establish SideBySide Studio, a multifunctional space for exhibitions, meetings, seminars, screenings and workshops.

Such varied life experiences heighten my sensibility to observe my everyday surroundings and my capacity to incorporate critical thinking with mosaic viewpoints. I position myself as a ‘contexterin’ – a title composed by 3 parts ‘context - er - in’ in German, meaning a female person who aims to generate new contexts in her creative practice. The artistic experience for me is an overall experience that queries all aspects of life.

As a curator and producer, I animate ongoing events such as Kunst Apotheke Salon, where intellectuals and artists are invited to share their critical reflections on current social changes. The Salon also serves as a pharmacy (Apotheke) for artists to receive constructive feedback on their work in progress. Known for its intimate and interdisciplinary exchanges, it is now a creative hub for many Berlin-based and international creative practitioners to test their visions.

As an artist, I work with experimental and documentary films, multi-media installations, and interactive performances.

As a researcher, I focus on sustainable strategies for creative practices in an international context. Besides the theoretical framework, I am CEO of Artout, an international artist escort service agency, testing the conventional boundaries of art, economy, human relations and cultural politics. I also work closely with an open source SPIP community to develop digital platforms for artistic communities to showcase their work online without risking their copyrights.

As a workshop facilitator, I give great importance to conditions for innovation and the need for collective intelligence. For me, the real crisis we face today is not only climate change or the financial crunch, it is our inability and reluctance to think and work together in a complex and ever-changing world.

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