My artwork has a close connection with my life’s experience as a Chinese student in the United States. I have been seeking my life's trajectory within the process of my artistic creation to bridge the “gap” between China and the USA in terms of distance, time differences, and conflicts of cultural values. Although most people believe the language barrier is the greatest difficulty to overcome, it is actually the differences between our two cultures that prove to be a greater challenge. In the cultural differences of history, economics, social patterns, and ways of thinking about nature, one may find the essence of this “gap” between China and the US. It is within this gap that I explore my life’s path.   Since Chinese history, culture and oriental philosophy are in my blood, I consider myself to be a 2-year-old American baby with Chinese “cultural programming” pre-installed. My old culture often conflicts with my new life, which surprises, annoys, and confuses me, and yet, simultaneously pushes me forward to combine these two worlds that support and structure my life.
For me, I am interested in seeking my life's trajectory, as the natural path that my life may take. I am inclined to search for my life’s trajectory within the operating principle elements of the universe because of my Chinese upbringing. After living in the US for a while, I noticed an interesting phenomenon: while in China, I was not aware of the influence of traditional Chinese philosophy had on me, neither was I curious about nature, life, or the future. The gap between these two worlds led me to realize a deeply rooted Chinese culture held inside me. One may think of these “raveling” differences that I found within myself, as a drop of oil placed in a jug of oil; it becomes part of the whole, but a drop of oil in a jug of water would stay separate. Although Chinese and western cultures are wildly different, there are also many commonalities that provide a place of support between these two worlds — a place where the gap is bridged. So I have begun to explore this place where the combining or merging of these two cultures exists within my own life. For example in, Be Free from the Sun, the Moon and the Earth, I created a calendar that tracks my daily life. In this work, I explore the idea that the sun, the moon and the earth tightly control us.  It takes the earth one year to rotate around the sun, and people celebrate the rotation every year. The moon takes one month to rotate around the earth: and a women’s menstrual cycle is typically 28 days. Yet, my menstruation period never comes at the same time each month. It is either early or late, or as I call it “impromptu?”As the earth revolves on its axis, so do people go to work in the morning and come home in the evening. And for those who work at night, they simply go home in the daytime. If I do not wake up when I should wake up, or go to bed when I should go to bed, I often feel guilty. Rotation is the earth’s activity and it seems to push me to obey a daily routine but against my body’s will. So I announced to the world that I will get out from under the control of the sun, the moon and the earth, and from now on I will be faithful to my body. I will live on my own calendar time. In this calendar a day may start and end according to my sleep pattern, and I may eat whenever I feel like it.
In the calendar example, one may see that a day may start at the middle point, which begins in between the sleep-point and the wakeup-point. Then ends in the middle point, which is between the next sleep-point and the wakeup-point. A month starts from the first day of my period and ends at the first day of my next, and a year will depend on twelve cycles of my period.  This calendar started on March 1, 2009 and will continue for one year.
Many related works will derive from the project. For instance, I will embed a format that calculates my own time-zone in a website where viewers can input their time of sleep and wakeup to find out their own time-zone. 
--by Yuanyuan Li--Sep.2009