Hannah Li Artwww.ArtPal.com/hannahli0307
Currently a student at William P. Clements high school, Hannah has never known a life without art.
As far back as I can remember, I have been obsessed with storytelling.
From crude scratches in the sandy gravel lining my community playground to the HB #2 masterpieces strewn across calculus worksheets, I’ve traversed across universes, immersing myself within the storylines and lives of characters I would never be able to meet in the tangible world.
Page after page, sketchbook after sketchbook soon piled up in the attic, gathering dust to never see the light of day. However, as the years progressed, I found myself seeking validation through competition, growing increasingly obsessed with the presence of a blue ribbon stamped on my canvas. Stuck in a stupor, I grew tired of my ‘hobby’, no longer seeing the value in the hollow scribbles I had hoarded so fervently before. In order to save my relationship with art, I knew it was crucial to scrap all of the toxic expectations I had held previously. In the period of convalescence following, I invested in a quality set of oil paints, throwing myself into the field of oil painting with renewed ardor. From studying Sargent’s classics to @henrikauu’s viral surrealist works. I fell for the rich colors but, more so, the breathless gut-punch feeling that I felt after seeing their pieces. The rising socio-political art presence worldwide, tumultuous shifts in American and global circumstances, combined with angsty hormonal impulse, made me completely reevaluate the power of the paintbrush.
Unsatisfied with leaving my stories untold, I have come to realize that I derive gratification by bringing light to things often overlooked. How could I sit idle when minorities from my motherland continued to be prosecuted, when mental health issues among my peers surged higher than ever before, when the world was ablaze?
When it comes down to the fundamentals, art - to me - is merely a medium for something much bigger than the canvas - with the artist as narrator - telling stories through light and dark, alizarin red and ultramarine blue, molding aesthetics with a vision for the future.
As I search for the new places art will take me, I am unafraid to provoke, instigate, or even offend. For me, the goal is to have my images arrest my audience, allow them a means of reflection and re-evaluation, and perhaps go out into world to make some change of their own.