Wednesday 31 August 2022:

“Today happened to be a day where I traversed across multiple planes as an Asymmetry Curatorial Fellow at Whitechapel Gallery and a resident at Delfina Foundation.”

“The morning started with toast made from my own sourdough bread, baked earlier in the week in the Delfina kitchen. I can recommend this avocado, chia seed and honey combination! In the mornings the Delfina kitchen is a quiet spot to eat but at night it’s usually extremely lively.”

“After breakfast I headed east to Whitechapel Gallery, where the archive exhibition Out of the Margins: Performance in London’s Institutions 1990s – 2010s, which I co-organised, had opened just the day before. The wonderful operations team had already turned on the lights and videos, but I walked around one more time to make sure everything was ready before my 11am guided tour – knowing from experience that audio visual equipment can often be cheeky bastards, breaking down just before important events.”

“The tour was for the friends and supporters of Matt’s Gallery, a non-profit platform that played a significant role in raising the profile of performance within the London contemporary art scene and thus is featured in the archival exhibition. It felt slightly awkward to talk about London’s performance art ecology in front of an audience who have lived here for years and likely witnessed for themselves some the performances featured; but finally sharing my research from the past two months was exciting for me. The tour ended with a happy surprise when artist William Cobbing who is part of the London Open exhibition, also on display at Whitechapel, showed up and introduced his fascinating ceramics and video work.”

“After replying to a pile of emails, I rushed back to Delfina Foundation for Family Lunch, the most beloved fortnightly tradition where 30 staff, residents, and guests come together to share food and thoughts. During the lunch I spoke to the guests about my work, as Associate Curator at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, and my current curatorial interest in where street dance and contemporary art converge.”

“Time easily slipped away after the lunch as we had so much to chat about with the guests. I worked from my room at Delfina for the rest of the afternoon. Then in the evening me and my fellow residents had a cooking competition to see who could re-cook the leftover fish from the Family Lunch into the best meal. I think my butter, parsley, and lemon recipe won.”

“Delfina family time continued after dinner when one of my co-residents, artist Soumya Sankar Bose, proposed to turn the dining room into a movie theatre to watch Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan together. And that’s a lovely wrap!”

Erin Li (China/Hong Kong) is an Asymmetry Curatorial Fellow at Whitechapel Gallery and curator-in-residence at Delfina Foundation.

Photos resident’s own.