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28 Chinese

I am not ready...
by Li Shurui (Chinese, b. 1981)
Acrylic on canvas

Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
© Li Shuru.

This painting, from Li Shurui's Light series, reproduces the look and feel of light in environments from arctic landscapes to nightclubs. She connects this universal subject to local concerns that surround her studio in Beijing's industrial outskirts.

"[This painting] originate[s] from my studio in Blackbridge, Beijing, China. There are concrete villages (not the kind in the midst of farmland and open spaces) on the outskirts of the city. Most of its inhabitants are manual laborers perpetually toiling at construction, deconstructing, reconstructing, repairing, and maintaining behemoth Beijing, along with a few young artists. . . . I've never lived [in Blackbridge], I just drive past some of its few landfills to my studio every day. I've never drunk the water either. The water comes from wells dug out by the villagers themselves, thick with silt. After the silt precipitates I use the water to mix color and wash brushes. The painting you are looking at right now is made from that water." —Li Shurui