Diana Li


Diana Li works with tele-nomadic multimedia and experiments with technology as a means to disOrient diasporic transmissions of memory and knowledge. Born and raised in the United States to Chinese-Peruvian parents, she focuses on the epistemological overloading of ethnographic and ontological information.  She served as a fellow under the 2016 Emerging Curators Program for the Asian American Women Artists Association, participated in KSW's APAture: HERE and currently pursues her MFA at San Francisco Art Institute.


About the Exhibition


My first conscious memory of ever being directly othered was when I was a small lanky child, walking with my dad around a plaza in Peru.  As we passed by a newsstand, a woman from inside stood up, leaning over the counter and pointing right at me to say, “CHINITA! CHINITA! CHINITA!”  At the time, I didn’t know whether to feel proud or anxious that I appeared to be so Chinese to this person.  While I go on to figure out how to assert that part of my identity and my diaspora without being totally tokenized for it, there’s that intellectual and scientific examination that I learn from everyone who says my hair actually does look like SILK, or that I’m so cute when I’m red and glowing, or a Wisdom Ambassador who says they know more about China than I do, or that one actor, Matt Damon. I am fascinated by this passage of knowledge that strides between the compliment and fetishistic belittlement and how it makes me want to both hide and show off as una CHINITA in America.