Art Show | ChaShaMa Presents New York-based artist Weina Li’s Solo Exhibition, You Are The Star

poster credit: ChaShaMa

“Flower after flower is specked on the depths of green. The petals are harlequins. Stalks rise from the black hollows beneath. The flowers swim like fish made of light upon the dark, green waters. I hold a stalk in my hand. I am the stalk. My roots go down to the depths of the world, through earth dry with brick, and damp earth, through veins of lead and silver. I am all fibre. All tremors shake me, and the weight of the earth is pressed to my ribs. Up here my eyes are green leaves, unseeing.”

– Virginia Woolf, The Waves.

You are the star, Size variable, telescope size: 42 x 37 x 60 Inches, 2022

In one of the soaring soliloquies of The Waves, we see a child standing in a field of flowers. He slowly observes the flowers, holds a stalk in his hands, and merges with the plant. He becomes one with nature. All tremor shakes him. He feels the weight of the earth on his ribs. Down below, his roots extend into the earth. Up here, his eyes turn into green leaves, unseeing.

The child’s magical union with nature can be seen as a metaphor for the artistic concerns in Weina Li’s work—her attention to peace, curiosity, sensitivity to the world, and the interconnectedness of our existence. Li engages scientific principles with profound emotional reality. Her work draws inspiration from nature, poetic encounters, the wider world, as well as her personal one. Like the child’s unseeing eyes, no longer privileging vision as the dominant means of perception, she gives us reasons to engage through alternative senses—touch, sound, contours of your face, traces of your body, your steps.

Garden of Echoes, 55 x 75 Inches, Stones carved from recycled foam, water tank, water pump, Midi Controller program, soil, artificial plants, nature sounds, acrylic fish, 2023

Let us crawl into the garden, where nature is subdued, ordered, and enclosed. Let us dance our fingertips in the singing pond, under the rocks carved from foams. Your touch turns into sound, into sunset. The water like air, like hours. Let us take possession of our longings, inhabit the labyrinth, and stare into a space made of moonlight. Did you know labyrinths, with their patterns so intricate, were once conceived to lure devils into them so they might never escape? Poems from the past dilate under a microscope. The telescope gazes back with your own image. Since ancient times we have looked into the stars to make sense of ourselves. Your face lit with crescents and glimmering light.

Borges envisions the universe as an infinite number of hexagonal galleries, which happens to be the shape of Into Orbit. Six music stands. Six objects. Six sets of symmetries. Each component harbors a unique sound of the cosmic. A space summing up all preceding spaces, and a convergence of all preceding sounds. Cosmo, in Greek, implies not only the universe but also order, beauty, and harmony. But the work is not complete without your presence. It invites you to touch, to hold, to listen, to stay. It invites you to perform, and it will, in turn, perform for you.

poster credit: ChaShaMa

Exhibition Dates

July 10 – August 1, 2023

Opening Reception

18:00 – 20:00 Friday, July 14, 2023

Live Performance

19:00 Friday, July 14, 2023


ChaShaMa Space

1155 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

For more information, please visit:

About Artist

Weina Li (lives and works in New York) received a MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2022, and a BFA from the Academy of Art University in 2018. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions, You Are The Star, ChaShaMa, New York, NY (2023). The Butterfly of Styx River, Chinatown Soup, New York, NY (2020). A Piece of Red Cloth, 688 Sutter Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2018). Li’s recent residency includes ChaNorth, Pine Plains, NY (2023). The Hortus Spring Residency, Stone Ridge, NY (2023). Li is the author of You Are The Star published in 2022 at Printed Matter.
Instagram: @weina.l

About Curator

Suyi Xu is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her B.A. in Art History from Barnard College (New York) in 2019 and her M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts (New York) in 2022. Xu’s work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including solo exhibition All that is Solid Melts into Air in Fou Gallery (New York, 2022), group exhibitions at Fortnight Institute (New York, 2023), Parent Company Gallery (New York, 2023), Gallery Func (Shanghai, 2023), Galerie Hussenot (Paris, 2022), and A.I.R. Gallery (New York, 2021).

About Chashama

Since 1995, Chashama has transformed unused space into:
● Retail spaces for small businesses
● Work and presentation spaces for artists
● Free art classes in under-resourced communities

(text & photo courtesy of the artist)

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