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.


Peeing. Online. Together ( On-going ):
Collective Urination on Clubhouse
Discipline: Event
Keywords: Water, Domesticity,

Perfect Melon ( On-going ):
VR multisensorial Performance
Discipline : Performance, Event, Virtual Environment, Installation
Keywords: Water, Doomsday,

Swim ( On-going ):
VR project on swimmer, and swimming pool
Discipline: Animation, Virtual Environment
Keywords: Water, Domesticity, Internationality

Unpruned Tree, Exhausted ( 2021 )
Digital painting of an unpruned tree Discipline: Painting

( At Least ) Three Ways of Seeing Anxiety In China ( 2021 )
Poster for Dr. Jennifer D. Lee’s Tenure Review Presentation
Discipline: Graphic Design


Commiserate Chicago ( 2019- 2020 ) :
New media art festival
Discipline: Event, Graphic Design
Keywords: Collaboration

World Class/Happy Daze ( 2020 ) :
Poster design for faculty lecture with Jennifer D. Lee and Jennifer N. Kidwell
Discipline: Print-making, Graphic Design
Keyword: Event,


Bunker ( 2016- 2018 ) :
VR installation on Cold War architectures and modernity’s paradox.
Discipline:  Virtual Environment, Installation, Print
Keywords: Doomsday

Interplanetary Soul ( Yo Love’s Got Me ) ( 2018 ) :
Collaboration with Chicago Funkadelic Musician Andre Gibson.
Discipline: Animation
Keywords: Collaboration

Westwold Needs Asia ( 2018 ) :
Poster design for Jennifer D. Lee’s Penultimate Review Presentation
Discipline: Print, Graphic Design
Keywords: Event

Live: Lu Yang Master Exorcism ( 2018 ) :
Poster design for Lu Yang’s artist talk at SAIC
Discipline: Print-making, Graphic Design
Keywords: Event


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
Discipline: Animation, Virtual Environment
Keywords: Water


My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
( 2016 )
Time-based installation on familial obligation
Discipline: Installation, Sculpture
Keywords: Water, Domesticity,

Work It ( 2016 ) :
Hourly performance on artistic labor and the futility of studio practice Discipline: Performance, Print

Hallway ( 2016 ) :
First Unity project of a surrealist dreamscape
Discipline: Virtual Environment
Keywords: Domesticity,

Journey Under the Midnight Sun ( 2016 ):
Video of an exhausting walk
Discipline: Video


Red Oil Wontons ( 2015 ) :
Serial glitch prints and installation on food and lingual translation
Discipline: Installation, Print-making
Keywords: Internationality

Warden/ Prisoner ( 2015 ) :
Video installation and architectural study on toilets
Discipline: Video, Installation, Sculpture
Keywords:  Water, Domesticity

Morse Code Painting series ( 2015 ) :
Abstract oil paintings embeded with Morse code messages
Discipline: Painting, Video  

Hell Screen ( 2015 ) :
Neon light Installation prototype inspired by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa‘s short story, Hell Screen ( a.k.a 地獄変 Jigokuhen ) Discipline: Installation, Sculpture
Keywords: Domesticity

Unknown ( 2015 ) :
Video experiement
Discipline: Video

Collages series ( 2015 ):
Digital collages made on iPhone
Discipline: Print, Graphic Design


SUSPENSION ( 2014 ) :
Mixed media installation on surveillance in the domestic environment
Discipline: Video, Installation, Sculpture
Keywords: Domesticity

Debate Before the Noose ( 2014 ) :
Oil painting on the denial of death
Discipline: Painting

2014 and before

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