Larry Groff interviews painter Ying Li on the occasion of her exhibition Geographies at Haverford College, on view through October 7, 2016.
Li comments: “I think these two are really one thing; they’re so tied together, looking out and then looking in on the canvas. I try to make that switch as short as possible so I can put down my reaction at that second because that moment quickly goes away and change into my old habits or something else. Every painting comes out differently. Sometimes I stay in more representational manner because I feel I really got the character or something right there. Or the painting just works. However most times I don’t trust that feeling, I try to get past that point and dig harder into the painting, to find what it is really about. At a certain point the painting gets muddy and flat and I hit a wall. It bounces back instead of going deeper. Sometimes I find I am just repeating my own paintings. I have to paint through those moments, and look harder, I find the solution is always out there, the looking part leads to the clue.”