Daniel Li

The ways in which the virtual/digital influences an individual’s interaction with reality, and vice versa, is the overarching focus in my body of work. Avoiding a language-based direction, in which topical discussions which deal with what my work may relate to, my focus is on how and what people perceive. The cornerstone of my practice is the principle of truth to medium, meaning that what one intends to express or communicate, must ideally, only be able to be executed through that particular medium. Therefore, in terms of painting, the visual qualities of the painting should only be able to be produced with the medium of painting and nothing else.

My original incorporation of virtual/digital elements into painting appeared as an unconscious manifestation. It began as an introspective investigation, based on Nietzschean philosophy and Jungian psychology. However, down the rabbit hole of the Internet, I eventually found myself studying controversial online communities such as 4chan (many such as members being ardent followers of Nietzsche and Jung). This also found itself reflected in my work. Here I will make it clear that I do not promote any hateful or extremist ideas (especially when these groups are notorious for holding such)—especially in my work. Rather, I offer the viewer a glimpse into such digital spaces, as well as, the ways in which members of such communities perceive the world in the context of their personal lives and politics.

Violence is the Supreme Authority in which All Authority Derive, oil on masonite. 48” x 30”, 2020

IDW Café, oil on canvas. 64” x 36”, 2019

n o s t a l g i a, oil on canvas. 53” x 30”, 2020

Mouvement des Gilets Jaunes (Honour All Dissidents), oil on canvas. 53” x 30”, 2020

Anima, oil on canvas. 24” x 18”