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Li’s work and research focus on the tension between bringing out the absurdity of certain stereotypes and fostering a reappraisal of the beauty and heritage of the Chinese-Indonesian restaurant. Since 2014, Li has visited 900 Chinese restaurants across the Netherlands in an endeavour to build an archive. During these visits, he has collected menus, pieces of tableware, and written memories of his encounters. He has also taken photographs of over 190 unique Chinese-Indonesian dishes: these photographs have been developed into a 1000-piece puzzle series, a lightbox, and more. The artist finds beauty in the Chinese-Indonesian restaurant, but also a way to understand his Chinese roots and family history. Many of his family members, including his biological parents, have worked in restaurants as a way to survive and integrate into Dutch society.

Background
Benjamin Li (1985) is a visual artist based in Rotterdam working with photography, video and sculptures. He holds a BA in Photography from the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, and a MA in Media Design and Communication from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. His work has been shown at the Textiel Biënnale (Museum Rijswijk), at the Lisser Art Museum (LAM), and at the No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam. His latest exhibition was on show at drift 12, Rotterdam. He has been awarded the Young Talent Award/Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds in 2019, and the Spaces 10 Years prize in 2018.


Press play to listen to the song that is currently playing in Benjamin’s studio:


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Kipblokjes met Pikante Saus Handdoek_2021_Textiel_(foto Ernst Moritz)

Benjamin Li – Kipblokjes met Pikante Saus Handdoek (2021)

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    Benjamin Li
    Kipblokjes met Pikante Saus Puzzel (2021)

    Kipblokjes met Pikante Saus Puzzel_2021_Puzzel (500 stukjes)
    Benjamin Li
    Garnalen met Broccoli (2019)

    Benjamin Li - Garnalen met Broccoli - 2019

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