Between Two Ideals

March 9, 2017 2017年3月9日

Sydney-based designer and illustrator Joy Li arrived in Australia at the age of one after her parents immigrated over from mainland China. Growing up in an Asian household while living amongst a Western society has meant that Li has spent her entire life “wedged between two ideals.” Her latest project, Living as an Asian Girl, aims to showcase the frustration that many Asian women living in Western societies experience. This three-part series takes inspiration from social media, pop culture and internet memes. Although the presentation is light-hearted and approachable, Li seeks to shed a truthful light on the “difficulty in reconciling with conflicting identities and its subsequent effect on our psychological well-being.”

Joy Li是一名设计师和插画家。一岁时,她随父母从中国移居澳大利亚。作为一个生活在西方社会,却在亚洲家庭里成长的女生,Li的人生注定会夹在“两种价值观之间”。因此,在她的最新的设计项目《Living as an Asian Girl》中,Li希望向观众传达许多亚洲女性在西方社会生活会遇到的挫败和苦恼。整个项目分为三部分,灵感来自社交媒体、流行文化和网络爆红现象——虽然Li的表现手法走的是轻松有趣的路线,但她希望这件作品能传达给观众“在不同的身份间找寻平衡的艰难,以及它对我们心理上的影响”。

Words to My Daughter – “Dear Joy, I ____ You.”

Li arranges snippets of her everyday household conversations into a chart that measures each phrase’s frequency, tonal value and emotional impact. The sizing of the text correlates to the frequency that these phrases are heard. While such phrases may be eerily common across most Asian households, often uttered as a means of showing affection, they’re atypical and unexpected in Western society. Li’s intention is to shed light on these cultural contrasts while documenting her personal struggle with defining her own identity.

对女儿说的话—— 《Dear Joy, I ____ You.》


Visual Serenade of Twitter Sentiments  – “A Sad Ballad for Asian Girls”

In this second piece, Li explores how Asian girls are represented online by correlating tweets into an image based on their delivery. The data was derived from Twitter searches relating to the keywords “Asian women” and “Asian girls”, with results ranging from offensive to empowering.

Twitter帖子的视觉小夜曲——《A Sad Ballad for Asian Girls》

在第二部分里,Li 将Twitter上搜索的帖子内容和根据这些内容形成的图像放在一起,进而探讨亚洲女孩在网络上的形象。她在Twitter网站上搜索“亚洲女性”和“亚洲女孩”的关键词,收集了一系列的帖子,其中既有侮辱性的内容,也有倡导女性赋权的内容。

A Character Quiz – “Who’s Your Token Asian?”

Along with limited representation amongst mass media, Asian women are also constantly pigeonholed into certain stereotypes. Li created this visual flow chart that takes viewers through a series of questions to discover their “token Asian.”

一个性格测验——《Who’s Your Token Asian》


Li describes herself as someone who draws inspiration from the past as much as the future and hopes that her work can “delight the mind’s eye and invite a sense of nostalgia.” What started off as a personal project has evolved into a beacon of truth that resonates with Asian women from all over the world.



Contributor: Whitney Ng



供稿人: Whitney Ng