"The Journey depicts a world where time and time and reality have been suspended, and things are no longer as they have always seemed. As they float around a world of magic and celebration" - The Journey by Shen Li
I am a self-taught, Malaysian-born artist currently living in beautiful Los Angeles. I create hyper-detailed contemporary art inspired by nature, pop culture, sociopolitical issues, and fantasy.
Each painting begins as a broad concept in my mind, or sometimes just an emotion. I don't sketch a piece before starting. Painting is a conversation between me and the canvas as I work, and I don't know how it all ends until it does. Working with acrylic, I paint primarily in black and white, to invite people to focus on the minutiae of the paintings and the stories that they tell.
I grew up in Malaysia, and those memories often find their way into my works. I remember the beauty of tropical rainforests and the smell of the air after heavy monsoon rains. I spent hours reading and making art.
Then I became a lawyer, and art became the furthest thing from my mind. After graduating from Stanford University in 2002 and Cornell Law School in 2008, I spent seven years as a civil litigator. One day during a vacation, I bought a canvas and started painting for the first time in over ten years. That moment began to change my life.
As I've transitioned from lawyer to artist, many of my paintings explore what it means to search for purpose and meaning within the identities and worlds that we create for ourselves. Yet to me, law and art are not antithecal. Both allow us to explore the intersection of humanity and morality, challenge the establishment, examine issues that transcend cultural boundaries, and foster beauty in this world.
Thank you so much for all your support, and for being on this journey with me. I'm so happy to get to share what I love with you.
Visit ShenLiStudio.com to learn more about Shen's art.