Li Songsong was born in 1973 in Beijing, China. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. He currently lives and works in Beijing.
Li Songsong’s vivid high-relief paintings are composed of imposing brushstrokes and grids of color. Often dealing with, but not limited to, political or historical imagery, his paintings are based on found photographs. Once these images are taken out of their original context, the figures become refreshing abstractions and emotive marks through Li’s handling and manipulation of the materials. The method employed by Li Songsong is unique, in his dismembering and reassembling of the pictorial scene into a coherent portrait. Assuming any image is imbued with its own ideology and associations, Li intentionally destroys the image he chooses and rebuilds it when constructing his painting. By remaining deeply attentive to the act of painting and reworking the multiple layers of paint, Li’s paintings neutralize and efface the potential implications of the figures as the historical scene recedes.
Li Songsong has been included in numerous international exhibitions at institutions including the SFMoMA, MoMA PS1, the Saatchi Gallery, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, the University of California Berkeley Art Museum, the Kunstmuseum Bern, and the Hamburger Kunsthalle. In 2015, Li held solo shows at Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna and Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Li Songsong was the recipient of the 2011 Martell Artists of the Year Award.