Bodies As Vessels

 EJ: I approach the gallery as a sort of stage where sculpture can tell a story and interact with visitors as a quasi prop, while also considering how people move through the space and their relationship to it. Galleries aren’t truly liminal, they hold the memory of every previous exhibition and have a specific architecture that people relate to innately. I try to reorient the viewer in the space with the work.


 EJ:I was interested in portraiture as a means to be intimate with strangers, acquaintances and friends for a long period of time. Portraiture is a “productive” activity that makes people feel at ease and takes pressure off of the conversation. My studio became a space where there were no distractions, just time between two people; the conversation and rendering that came from this focus.


 EJ: Yes. I think a lot about emptiness



Essa Li