Junli Song

Junli Song
Junli Song - Artists 360 Student Grant Recipient 2020

Artist Statement

My work is inspired by the ancient Chinese cosmography, Shanhaijing, which I reinterpret through a feminist, diasporic lens. Centring around a female re-imagining of the mythological headless deity, Xingtian, as a symbol of resistance, the world created within these images exists as an imaginary realm where the liminal becomes a space of alternative existence. As a Chinese-American woman, I have undertaken the project of world-building as a way to create a space where I belong, and to make sense of the complex, often contradictory, realities of existing between cultures. Drawing upon the fantasy and humour inherent in self-making within diasporic societies, my work reveals the fluid nature of identity as inherited stories and traditions continually evolve.

Artist Bio

Junli Song grew up in Chicago, but lived abroad from 2012-2018 in South Korea, England, Italy, and South Africa. Her studies are similarly widespread: she originally majored in economics and international development before returning to the creative path, first with an MA in children’s book illustration, and currently, an MFA with a concentration in printmaking. As a storyteller, she uses visual narratives to explore the cultural ambiguities of being Chinese American.