Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is to present “Knot by Not”, the Solo Residency Exhibition by Jiaxi Li, who has been working in the studio above the gallery space from August—October 2021.
Knot by Not, Jiaxi Li’s end of solo residency exhibition is epic. I do not use the word epic lightly – Jiaxi Li has a tenacious hungry mind that extends beyond the typical fine art practice. Jiaxi is a graduate of Parsons fashion, Royal College of Art textiles and now inhabits a fine are practice that calls on this education and her experience as type of vagabond. Jiaxi is place making, object making, sanctifying and placing reverence in the everyday as well as crucially respecting the process making.
Epic, as defined “an exceptionally long arduous task” is the best descriptor for Jiaxi’s practice. Jiaxi thinks big and works back. Knot by Not, starts with just 2 threads and Jiaxi weaves her medium first and then sets about building structures from materials that should not stand up, yet they become sculptural. The laboriousness of Jiaxi’s method is impressive, but also a type of performance piece. This final exhibition is the by-product of Jiaxi’s process of making endlessly making.
A re-enactment of her environment, her place – isolated from family, pandemic restrictions – resulted in a new relationship of home, a new study of her relationship with and what she inhabits and how she stays connected. The zoom life, the VR life blurring into a totality and the physical has become a quaint rendition of our virtual expansiveness. Connecting across continents home became essentially virtual. Our actual homes becoming a fantastical environment that we share in edited ways via zoom. Jiaxi invites the viewer into a world, knitted playful childish colours constructed in a mosaic of digital pixels that loop us back to the digital virtual. Beyond this joyful physical expression is a questioning of reality that is extremely prescient – in this pandemic time we have all had to invent ways to inhabit the real world as it is quite literally no longer what we understood. Jiaxi’s expansive epic undertaking asks all of these questions and is synthesised intelligently through her multi-faceted, multi medium practice for this is what she understands.
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is an exhibition and residency space in London and unique in its approach to bringing artists and their practices to the public. They support a diverse range of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists by providing them with space and time to develop their practice, network within our growing community, be mentored by team members and crucially be introduced to their expansive network of collectors, art educators, professionals and visitors.