Global Arts and Cultures

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Lili Lai | Curating Cultural Experiences: Presenting Chinatown’s identity within Montréal’s cultural fabric

Virtual Lecture

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Like many defined spaces, Montréal is not only a social and spatial manifestation of a singular community, but an ideal conceived and constructed through interpretation, objectives, and media portrayal. Throughout Lili's written thesis for RISD's GAC requirements, she conceptualizes Montréal as a brand, being one of the cultural capitals of Canada and how deeply it ties to an assemblage of diverse roots and identity beyond its history. The concept of assemblage is carried to fruition when she was recruited to define the brand image of Montréal’s inaugural celebration of Chinatown’s culinary and cultural identities, as a governmental initiative to stimulate the city’s economic activities during the repercussions of COVID. She is currently still navigating through her career path in another city as she explores a new set of opportunities and passions.

Lili Lai

Lili is a graduate of RISD’s inaugural MA program, emerging from GAC’s first cohort. She is an interdisciplinary designer who has situated herself at the intersection of curating cultural, visual and social experiences. Recently, she has collaborated with municipal and provincial governments to conceive en masse cultural gatherings for Montreal’s diverse Chinatown neighborhood, the first of its kind in the city. She has work experience in the fashion, social media, and beauty industries, with clients ranging from big pharma to small fluffy cats. While not suffering from the symptoms of cat allergies to her own cat, Lili likes to weave needles with yarn and plucks strings stretched across a wooden frame as big as her corporeal form. You may recognize her heart-shaped culinary tools and creations, her burning hatred for cilantro, and her unwavering devotion to Trader Joe’s seasonal aisles.