Li Yao, currently based in Chicago, is a VR/XR artist, a designer, and an organizer for new media art events. Li’s work addresses how our perceptions of reality are shaped, both by the architecture we inhabit, as well as the interfaces we connect to. Li’s recent on-going project, Perfect Melon, in collaboration with Jas Brooks and Gabby Luu, is a VR installation and performance that incarnates a fictional corporation. The purchase of a company-produced soft drink initiates membership into a consumer community cultivated and entirely mediated by the corporation. Li has exhibited in various venues including Altered Festival, The Wrong Biennale, Ars Electronica, and Mykono Multimedia Festival. He received his MFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018, and his BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2016.


Bathroom Study (2022)
3d environmental study
Sort by: Digital Art & Animation

Tea House Study (2022)
3d environmental study
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Water Flows Through My Closet (2021--2022)
Ai-generative project exploring bathroom experience
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Perfect Melon ( On-going ):
VR multisensorial Performance
Keywords: Digital Art & Animation, Installations


Swim ( On-going ):
VR project on swimmer, and swimming pool
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Unpruned Tree, Exhausted ( 2021 )
Digital painting of an unpruned tree
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( At Least ) Three Ways of Seeing Anxiety In China ( 2021 )
Poster for Dr. Jennifer D. Lee’s Tenure Review Presentation
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Commiserate Chicago ( 2019- 2020 ) :
New media art festival
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World Class/Happy Daze ( 2020 ) :
Poster design for faculty lecture with Jennifer D. Lee and Jennifer N. Kidwell
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Bunker ( 2016- 2018 ) :
VR installation on Cold War architectures and modernity’s paradox.
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Interplanetary Soul ( Yo Love’s Got Me )( 2018 ) :
Collaboration with Chicago Funkadelic Musician Andre Gibson.
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Westwold Needs Asia ( 2018 ) :
Poster design for Jennifer D. Lee’s Penultimate Review Presentation
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Live: Lu Yang Master Exorcism ( 2018 ) :
Poster design for Lu Yang’s artist talk at SAIC
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Swimming Lessons ( 2017 ) :
Animation made in the VR experience of Swim to protest my frustration with Unity’s navigation agent and the pre-screening angst
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My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
( 2016 )
Time-based installation on familial obligation
Sort by: Installations, Sculptures

Work It ( 2016 ) :
Hourly performance on artistic labor and the futility of studio practice
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Hallway ( 2016 ) :
First Unity project of a surrealist dreamscape
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Journey Under the Midnight Sun ( 2016 ):
Video of an exhausting walk
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Red Oil Wontons ( 2015 ) :
Serial glitch prints and installation on food and lingual translation
Sort by: Generative ArtInstallations

Warden/ Prisoner ( 2015 ) :
Video installation and architectural study on toilets
Sort by:  VideoInstallations, Sculptures

Morse Code Painting series ( 2015 ) :
Abstract oil paintings embeded with Morse code messages
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Hell Screen ( 2015 ) :
Neon light Installation prototype inspired by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa‘s short story, Hell Screen ( a.k.a 地獄変 Jigokuhen )
Sort by: Installations, Sculptures

Unknown ( 2015 ) :
Video experiement
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Collages series ( 2015 ):
Digital collages made on iPhone
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SUSPENSION ( 2014 ) :
Mixed media installation on surveillance in the domestic environment
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Debate Before the Noose ( 2014 ) :
Oil painting on the denial of death
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2014 and before

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