Updated: May 15, 2020
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Always being curious and excited about the unknown future…stay hungry, stay foolish.
Artist, curator, guest-professor,PHD, manager, mom, wife…Dr. Jie Li-Elbrächter's role is always changing.
当然，你会觉得她是一个不折不扣的“人生赢家”，但是当你听完她的经历之后，也许你会惊呼Fantastic and amazing，然后是一个温暖的拥抱。你会感受到在她热情洋溢的笑脸上，有一个独立并永远怀有理想李捷在，因为这是属于她自己的独一无二。
She might be considered to be a truly “winner in life”. And when you are listening to her story, you will exclaim “Fantastic and amazing” and give her the warmest embrace. Her independence and idealism might be presented on the smiling face, and that is the reason why she is unique.
“From 6 to 13 years old, the education on traditional Chinese art had posed a great influence on my artistic expression habits and way of thinking. Without being obsessed with Chinese painting and Chinese culture in those years, I may not be able to find my cultural identity later”, said Dr.Li-Elbrächter. The starting point of her painting career was a cock when she was a child. Ever since then, the Chinese “flavor” and implied power behind it has prevailed in her life and rooted in her heart.
The power and influence posed by art is often mysterious and great. 13-year-old Dr. Li-Elbrächter left home with strong belief. She decided to become a “Beijing Drifter”, which might bring her closer to her dream of entering the Fine Arts School Affiliated to Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts. “It was the greatest turning point in my life in terms of my choice of being a Beijing Drifter. I lived in a traditional Chinese Si he yuan with leaking walls with the rent was only 100 RMB per month. Once I got fever, what stroke me most was not illness but homesickness. I sometimes needed to draw sketches on the bar street to make money for food and basic life. Now, I am still not sure about where the powerful courage came from at that hard time. What I have to be thankful now is the persistence and courage that encouraged me to hold on in those difficult times.” Survived from difficulties and slumps, she ranked as the Top 1 in entrance examination to Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. She chose the first college in Beijing, which was “a long-cherished dream” of her. Being lonely and isolated, one still holds hope in the deepest heart—that is the most concise portrayal for "Beijing Drifters".
In order to pursue her artistic dream, Dr.Li-Elbächter went to Germany in 2002. However, the distance between dream and reality still existed. The totally different local cultural and art environment confused her. And she sometimes needed to debate with professors and classmates when they could not convince each other in different art world. Faced with the misunderstanding and disputations, she felt lost. “Once I made a phone call with my mom and told her that I wanted to quit. I thought that I was not qualified as an artist and did not know what art really was.” Her mother just replied that if she found everything was good and smooth that was same as things in Beijing, then it was of no sense to go to Germany! Mother’s words posed great influence on her for a long time whenever she was faced difficulties and troubles.
“Later, I went to France for one year, two years in Geneva, and one year in London.In Geneva, life is too difficult, so I decided to went to Milan from Geneva by cycling.” She set out with just 10 euro, two apples and two bars of chocolate. She even needed to sleep on the bench in train station overnight. The soul-stirring experience makes her aware of the wonderfulness of the "expensive Geneva life".
After graduating from Academy of Fine Arts Muenster with a Master degree and obtained the title of master in 2009, she returned to China and gave birth to three Chinese-German babies. Inspired by the "product" of mixed cultures, she begins to gain a new perspective on cultural identity. She realizes that there is no direct relation between cultural identity and the country in which you were born. For her, cultural identity is a pluralistic existence. In other words, cultural identity helps her to find one or multi-cultural experience which suit her most or to which she could devote the most passionate. In spite of the abstract and nonfigurative descriptions in the article, it would still arouse resonate among people who have similar experience in traveling around the world. In every place, unique inhabitant and background would be produced. The art forms, social traditions and culture in China and Europe would always collide with her.
In addition to her work, Dr.Li-Elbrächter has also created works of art such as easel painting, installations, animation and so on. According to her, “The touch experience between pen, canvas and paper is a meditation.” She might make a video of her children inspired by ideas and spirits sometimes, which adds more colorful ingredient to her life. As has been pointed out by her, life is a piece of art for her now, and the creation process should be filled with fun and interests.
Life is art, while the Earth is a palette. Dr.Li-Elbrächter smiled and said that the earth was too small. She always looks forward to finding new things and interests in the life. As a result, she begins her new journey to Singapore, a country in which she wants to gain a better understanding on the charming of Southeast Asia arts in a thrillingly unknown journey. Best wishes to her and her new journey.
During August 1st - August 5th, there will be an art exhibition awaiting you which would be held in an old house with garden on Yongkang Road #190, Shanghai.
At 6 o’clock PM on Friday, please bring with your most beautiful smile and share your story to leave the most touching moments.
Do not forget to bring a warm hug @ 李捷Dr.Li-Elbrächter, Jie