Tottenham exhibition explores artist’s ‘memory archive’ via knitting

Textile artist Jia Xi Li launched her new solo exhibition at the Sarabande Foundation in Tottenham this week, writes Olivia Opara

Jia Xi (credit Olivia Opara)
Jia Xi (credit Olivia Opara)

An artist is showcasing her journey of finding her identity in a Tottenham exhibition that explores archived memories. 

Jia Xi Li, a Chinese Canadian textile artist based in Camden, launched her new solo exhibition Where Forgetting Meets Remembering at the Sarabande Foundation in Tottenham on Thursday (26th).

The exhibition recaptures Jia Xi’s memories as she was trying to find her identity as someone constantly travels through mundane objects such as doors, windows and a rubber duck. 

The artwork and installations on display are made from wool and are knitted textiles that are boned by poly filaments, a 3D printed material. 

Jia Xi told HCP that she wants to “invite into her world” how the exhibition is an “archive” of her memories. She also said that knitting is “ a very special” process to her. 

“Knitting is a never-ending making process. It is made by one knot after another and from my personal and artistic perspective, all knots represent time and I think that memories equals time and my memory tells people who I am,” said Jia. 

“As an artist, people would ask me who I am and where I come from and how I identify myself. But I think these tags sometimes don’t really work and it only helps you to ‘know’ this person but not going to their world.”

Jia has been working on the artwork featured in the exhibition for over three years and one of the installations is a group of kettles stacked as a pyramid. She said this installation represents how her life has expanded and how they represent the “blind spots” within memories. 

Jia added: “When people recall memories they recall the special moments but the memories that one may not count as special are the ones that help us get through each day. Those memories are just as important.

“I want to sanctify these memories – kettles are significant to me and so are these memories.”

Jia Xi joined the Sarabande Foundation in November 2022 and since graduating from Royal College of Art in 2021, she has exhibited in London, Berlin, Guimaraes, Edinburgh and New York. The Sarabande Foundation is an art foundation founded by Lee Alexander McQueen, who left the majority of his estate to support creative and visionary talent.

The exhibition is free to attend and ends on Sunday, 29th October. To books tickets:

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