Shiyi Li, Minister of Loneliness, Live performance and live collage, 2018

Shiyi Li is a Chinese visual artist, animator and illustrator currently based in Birmingham. Her work Minister of Loneliness is a collaborative performance involving chamber music, animation and live art performances made in conjunction with international percussionist Gloria Yehilevsky and originally performed by Aisling Reilly. The composition expresses concerns around mental health issues, an area in which the artists share personal experiences.

The story divides into four chapters that explore the relationship between women and loneliness. The film combines poetic narrative and montage and addresses the impact of media and scale. The chapters mix animation, live collage, live drawing performances and live music, and tell a story of a woman who progresses from self-denial to emerging positivity.

Minister of Loneliness has been screened and performed internationally in 2018 and 2019 in Bangkok, Saint-Étienne, London and Birmingham. It is screened at the Lanchester Gallery throughout Coventry Biennial, with a special live performance taking place on 15 November at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum as part of New Art West Midlands’ No Limits, the launch of the visual arts strategy for the West Midlands.

Shiyi is a graduate of Birmingham City University. New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art continue until 24 November 2019.

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