Li-Hill – Portrait of a master of movement
22 May 2017
Aaron Li-Hill, better known simply as Li-Hill, will visit Montreal for the Mural Festival. This Canadian artist has had quite an interesting life journey. Born in Toronto from an Austrian Polish father and a Canadian Chinese mother, raised in California and grew up in downtown Toronto, Li-Hill has been based in Brooklyn for the past five years.
The skateboarding world introduced him at a young age to graffiti. Gradually figurative elements were integrated to his lettering, up to the point when the letters completely disappeared to leave all the space to the figurative. Since his teenage years his passion allowed him to discover many different forms of art and Li-Hill knew that he would dedicate his life to art. Through all his travels, art schools, reading, drawing experiments, illustration, sculpture, graphism and painting, his artistic universe evolved.
A universe which can now be described through only one word : MOVEMENT. Indeed, Li-Hill’s work uses a juxtaposition of images in such a way as to suggest the illusion of movement. A process which reminds us of a the stop motion method used in movies. A filming technique in which objects are shot in successive positions creating the illusion of movement.
To better understand, imagine you are holding a small flipbook in your hands By holding the book with one hand and letting the pages turn quickly, you have the impression that the images are moving. In fact, each image is almost identical to the previous one except for a few details and with each sequence carefully cut, it creates the illusion of movement.
The fencers often find their place at the center of his creations. During an interview with Complex Magazine, the artist explains that for him it is simply an interesting symbolic.
Li-Hill explores different horizons. The multidisciplinary artist loves to work with all kinds of materials such as recycled material and using different supports. He is known as much for his work on canvases, his painted murals as for his posters and unique installations.
His work has brought him all over the world. His pieces have been shown in important art institutions, museums and galleries and you can admire murals on walls in city such as Berlin, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, San Francisco and Reykjavik.
As previously mentioned, this year, Li-Hill will honor us with his presence for the Mural Festival. Thanks to funding from the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent (SDBSL), the artist will give us an artistic installation in his own personal style, which will most likely feature a combination of three essential elements to his work :
- A central piece including one or more multilayered human figures carefully mixed in with significantly abstract forms exploding towards the outside.
- A reflecting surface
- Various light sources
A careful positioning of all these elements in an almost perfect balance constitutes the actual installation piece. It is set up on a polished surface and the lighting is meticulously placed so that an image is created by reflecting on the mirror which then gives an impression of movement which bursts into the surrounding space. The magic starts as you approach the artwork. The light effects changes as soon as the observer gets closer to the piece and gives the impression of entering a third dimension and to be able to interact with the work.
For Mural Festival, the installation will be created outdoor. Since light is such an essential factor in his work, it will be interesting to see how he will manage to play with the restriction of natural light. But this sure isn’t Li-Hill’s first experience so he should carry out the challenge brilliantly. It is planned that the installation will stay in place on the St-Laurent boulevard throughout summer.