We had the good fortune of connecting with Pearlyn Lii and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pearlyn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve found that change is the only constant. I wanted my own business by 25. In my head, I had a soft deadline of sorts. And with a lick of foolish youth, I decided to leap into my own venture knowing that I would indefinitely sacrifice stability. The most thrilling part about being an entrepreneur is constantly leaping into the unknown. By being present with the feeling, fear loses its power. Risk can be seen as a necessary evil or a necessary catalyst.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an artist, I want to explore the digital realm and look at how lore and assumptions extend into the virtual space. I grew up in Hong Kong. My grandmother, who is 106 years old this year, would tell me myths, folklore, and fairytales from all around the world. I realized while living in LA, that the female characters in her stories differed from the ones in Grimms Brothers’ and the stories I’d read years later. That’s when I started to see how archetypes are a human construct, and it’s all in how you tell the story. Overall, I’m currently interested in the dynamics of complex characters in virtual contexts, and also in the audiences, often fanbases, that bubble up around them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend arrives here at my pad in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the night before our adventure. In the morning before she is awake, I would order delivery from Court Street Grocers. Perusing the menu, I would be deciding between the B+C or the Ollie, but ultimately would go with the B+C for both of us. Other highlights during the week would include; going to the New Museum, MoMA PS1, Lichen, Joe’s Shanghai, and back to Brooklyn to have dinner at Olea.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sisters. They’re 18 years older than me and are like my second moms. There are a lot of lonely hours as an entrepreneur. It’s important to connect with the pillars that constructed your outlook to begin with. I can say I have borrowed as many values as I have clothes from my sisters over the years.
Portrait: Portrait by Connie Bakshi & Pearlyn Lii. Courtesy of nonstudio. Image 1: Reverb Teaser Poster by Pearlyn Lii, 2019. Courtesy of the artist. Image 2-4: Born of Foam, a photo series on a Neo-Aphrodite who discovers Earth for the first time. By Juliana Johnson and Pearlyn Lii, 2018. Courtesy of the artists. Image 5: Pearlyn has her latest pieces up on Foundation.app for auction via cryptocurrency. Courtesy of the artist and Foundation. Image 6: Stills from the artist’s AR video performance about female archetypes in the virtual space, titled ‘Real Girlfriend.’ 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Special thanks to Leslie Chang and Daniel Grushkin.