No.1 BEST

CHINESE TATTOO SHOP

Treated more as an aesthetic, instead of a language, Chinese characters have made an impact on visual cultures of the West. Westerners like to have Chinese tattoos without actually knowing the cultural context they carry, and sometimes even the actual meaning of the words.

 

To create an open dialogue on how the West is capitalizing on the “exotic charm” of the Chinese language, this pop-up store project presents a conceptual space that displays a series of tattoos that use original fonts and graphics that Niki designed. The tattoos combined highly stylized English letters with the aesthetics of Chinese brush strokes to resemble Chinese characters. These tattoos play with the illegibility and exoticism of Chinese characters while selecting humorous phrases from popular culture and every day slang.

 

The audience is welcome to lounge around, purchase products with tattoo graphics, and apply the temporary tattoo stickers onto their body, while the artist Niki was playing the role of the shop assistant. The intention behind this interaction is to show how cultures can be appropriated, reclaimed and repurposed by other cultural backgrounds and perspectives, sometimes creating a cultural disparity in which feeble attempts at understanding can promote misinterpretation and ignorance rather than transparency, respect, and clarity.

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ARTISTS' BOOK

<Untranslation - Disunderstanding - Disinterpretation>

 

By showing cross-cultural misinterpretations and the intentionality of modified forms of English and Chinese, this artist book is about how cultural signifiers can be repurposed and reclaimed. The book focuses on how cultural disparity and people’s feeble attempts to understand different cultural heritages can promote ignorance, rather than transparency, respect and clarity.

This project won The First Prize of The Cathryn Griffith Award in the Graphic Arts Annual, 2018 

Finish size:

7" x 7" 

60 pages

Hardcover

1st Edition

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MARKETING GIFT KIT

 

Gift kit designed for Laguarda.Low Architects's marketing purposes.

The kit includes 2 brochures, 1 poster, and 1 USB drive. 

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SHOW BOOTH

 

Trade show booth designed for Laguarda.Low Architects at the 2019 MAPIC, an international retail property market event for key property players and cities to build the ultimate lifestyle and shopping destinations.  

Dates: Nov 13, 2019 – Nov 15, 2019

LocationPalais des Festivals, Cannes, France

CONNECTED BOSTON 

PROJECT 

Posters and gifs designed for Connected Boston -- a program of The Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC), Boston's No.1 health navigator for LGBTQ people.

POSTERS

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GIFS

PUBLIC DISPLAY

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SOCIAL MEDIA / PRINT COLLATERAL

ANIMATIONS

 

Animations created for Laguarda.Low Architects, a NYC-based architecture firm.

VIDEOS

 

Videos created for Laguarda.Low Architects, a NYC-based architecture firm. 

GIFs

GIFs created for Kel & Partners, a Boston-based social media and public relations agency. 

Clients: Cumberland Farms, So Clean, UberDoc, International Design Guild, Flooring America, Wasabi

LOGO​S

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PUBLIC GRAPHIC ARTS PROJECTS

Only One Left Napkin Public Art 

Location: Boston MBTA Restroom at Park Street
Audience: MBTA Commuters

During a two week period, all the napkins in the dispensers will be taken out and replaced by a customized napkin roll with only one napkin left. Users of the restroom will be irritated by the lack of napkin and the insulting messages on it. This piece points to the importance of reducing hand napkin waste.

Printed Napkin Public Art 

Location: Tufts Dining Hall

Audience: Tufts students and faculty

Based on my observation of large amounts of napkins being wasted in the tufts dining hall, I hope that printing cautionary messages on napkins will bring awareness to the importance of reducing napkin related waste.

Ignorance Party

Treated more as an aesthetic, instead of a language, Chinese characters have made an impact on visual cultures of the West. Many fast fashion brands capitalize on the beauty of the Chinese symbols and slap them on garments simply because they "look cool". Westerners like to buy these products without actually knowing the cultural context they carry, and sometimes even the actual meaning of the words. Playing with this mentality, I designed these patches with ironic metaphors. People will be encouraged to apply these patches to their garments.

This art project creates an open dialogue on how cultural disparity and people’s feeble attempts to understand different  cultural heritages can promote ignorance, rather than transparency, respect and clarity. 

This project won The First Prize of The Cathryn Griffith Award in the Graphic Arts Annual, 2017  

Physical Patches and shirts

SILKSCREEN PRINTS

What You See Is Not What You See

'Beautiful Junk'

​“操”

Knock-off logo poster campaign

© Niki Li. All Rights Reserved.