Fiends and Friends: Li Wang

May 26 - July 2, 2023

Li Wang's first-ever solo exhibition delves into the exploration of queer male bodies within the realm of domestic spaces. Through his portrayal of these figures, the artist deftly probes the intricate nuances of masculinity.

The exhibition's title draws inspiration from the Chinese idiom "魑魅魍魉," which traditionally refers to demons and monsters in mythical stories. However, in the modern Chinese context, this phrase has come to symbolize the marginalized members of society. The gay community in China, for instance, has long faced stigma and deliberate concealment due to prevailing mainstream ideologies.

Through the use of litotes, the artist ingeniously appropriates this idiom. Rather than portraying bad people, their works showcase extraordinary individuals who courageously pursue their ideals and embrace their preferred lifestyles despite all obstacles.


Li Wang (b. 1995) is a New York based painter, born in Beijing, China. Li holds a Bachelor of Art from The Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, where he studied Stage Design. Li graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts' MFA program in 2022. His works are mainly about how queer male bodies inhabit domestic spaces. By rendering figures within a realistic atmosphere, he interrogates the concept of masculinity.