Wenting Li is an illustrator & muralist based in Tkaronto/ Toronto. She is interested in visualizing the interstitial space where fantasy and chaos intersect and extend our human experiences: im/migration, interconnection, everyday routines. Using form + shape, metaphor, and colour as a component of storytelling, Wenting’s work tells stories from the scale of the intimate to the mythic.
Harbinger features a rider astride their mount, hurtling toward the viewer – and the future.
Behind them, the path of time stretches out toward the horizon line, where the sun is perhaps
setting, perhaps rising on a new day. The moon, in phases, hovers high in the sky.
The rider passes beneath the arch of a tree grown into a circle, framing their flight, but also
symbolic of passing through rings, crossing thresholds. We too, are constantly in the path of
change, facing down challenges, old & constant injustices, global disasters as well as personal
ones. Once we receive a message of portent, how can we step through to meet what’s next?
I listened to Beverly Glen Copeland speak recently, when he was performing at Yonge-Dundas
Square with the Queer Songbook Youth Orchestra. He was talking about the seemingly
insurmountable crises – many of our collective making – we will face moving forward, and his
feeling of hope above all else. Hope is the one conclusion I feel we commonly hold out, against
the omen of the future. Without it, we cannot rise to the occasion demanded of us. We cannot
imagine another spring, another way of doing things. As a harbinger may signal the future,
there is the answering hope that the opportunity for change has not yet closed, that we may
yet make it through the ring – and collectively emerge somewhere new.