Wei Li is a full-time master student in Education at OISE, University of Toronto. He is also a dancer, choreographer, and educator who currently lives in Toronto. With years of experience working in the educational field as an ESL instructor, coordinator, as well as a performance artist and choreographer in China, his study interest includes immigrant identity, curriculum design (E-learning), movement & learning. In recent times he has engaged in self-learning and unlearning through body movement practice exploring autoethnographic approaches in cooperating with COVID-19.
Why did you get involved in this project?
I was introduced to this project from a summer course I took KMD1001. We had discussed the idea of “exquisite corpse” first and then the project, I was very intrigued by its concept.
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
Yes! It works for me. I realized my creativity doesn’t always come from everyday observation but the instant inspiration, and it is usually activated by intensive concentration.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
On the one hand, it gave me enough space to let creativity take place – knowing that others will interpret my work gave me the courage to try new things or different perspectives. On the other hand, it also restrains the creativity in the way that I would consciously use the direct image to make sure that I can successfully pass on the message (I was creating footage). But somehow, more choices have been created between two ideas.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
Definitely! Working with pairs or collaboration also brings creativity. Such a project works as a “blind date” to generate engagement with different levels of expectation. There can be so much expectation when you wonder about the outcome, while there is less expectation and less pressure when you know that you can be part of the “challenge” for other creators.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I have worked with two videos, but I am definitely willing to contribute more. Because such video making doesn’t have a “formula” in the process, it comes with countless possibilities when different creators collaborate together. It is also an intense moment of experiencing empathy to understand and see others’ views towards COVID-19 through the final video.