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Jia Qi Li is a fourth-year student at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Fine Arts Studio Practice. She was born in 1998 in Shanghai, China, but moved to Canada at the age of six with her mother and father. She grew up living in Toronto, but later moved to Brampton, Ontario in 2008 with her family. Currently, she resides in Waterloo, Ontario.  Jackie primarily focuses on painting and drawing as her areas of art practice, and uses her life experiences to express emotions through her works.

Artist Statement

My work consists of layered acrylic paintings on 6" x 8" acrylic sheets. Each panel showcases a layer of the environment, so when placed together, these panels create a complete, 3D landscape.

My series of paintings are based on my own life experiences as a Chinese immigrant. The places I paint are based on the places I have lived. From my hometown in Shanxi, China, to Ontario, Canada, I want to show the contrast between the environments in different countries. I hope to share my memories of my life and the cultures I grew up with. In this sense, I hope to bring people into the places I have lived in without having to physically visit the place themselves. I want to show viewers what it is like to live in poverty and I want to remind others to always be grateful no matter who or where you are. When I was born, my parents had left me in China with my aunt so that they could go settle in Canada. Even though I lived in poverty in China, I experienced family love from my grandparents, aunts, and cousins. Even though we were poor, I felt like everything was great because they were with me. When I moved to Canada I experienced better living conditions, but I lost the ability to spend time with my family in China as only my mom and dad immigrated with me. Thus I want people to experience my memories and experiences with me.