Sounds Like Print

Tacit Listening: On deafness and muteness

Sounds Like Print

Sounds Like Print | Serene Hui: Siren

Tacit Listening: On deafness and muteness

Tai Kwun Conversations: Sound Imprints

Date & Time

30 Jul 2023 4:00pm–5:30pm


JC Cube


Exclusive to Tai Kwun Fan, Free of charge


For their debut performance in Hong Kong, Tai Kwun Contemporary invites London-based artist and composer Li Yilei who premieres the third act of TACIT, a multivalent programme designed to encourage “tacit listening”—a nuanced and unspoken listening practice encompassing unheard, disabled, muted, and silenced sounds.

Working across a diverse range of media, Li imaginatively reflects upon our everyday relationship to sound. As a parallel event for Sounds Like Print, Li will develop a sonic performance from a set of graphic scores constructed from found materials. These include broken or damaged instruments, and poetries to delve into the intricacies and challenges of creating music through inaudible, linguistic, or muted mediums.

Li will be responding to specific locations across Tai Kwun, as well as the materials they find there, thereby mapping real and speculative situations that will culminate in their performance at JC Cube.

Sounds Like Print is curated by Ingrid Pui Yee Chu and Dr Edward Sanderson for Tai Kwun Contemporary’s Artists’ Book Library.

Artist Bio

Li Yilei

Li Yilei is a Chinese artist and composer working and living in London. With a background in fine art and sound art, Li’s body of work investigates alternative modes of listening, reflecting upon the tacitness and transience of existential occurrences. 

Li's artistic practice often incorporates sound, found materials, movements, text, and experimental scores. Through their work, Li exemplifies serendipitous encounters between individuals and their environment, focusing on the muted state, the unheard, and the voices of the disabled and untrained. The overarching theme of tacit knowledge and disability stems from Li's unique relationship with the outside world as an individual on the autism spectrum. 

In 2016, Li founded Non Dual Collective with their partner Joan Low, an organisation dedicated to curating live events for emerging artists from East and Southeast Asia. Since 2017, Li has been actively engaged in composing for theatre and dance, while also releasing music records. Their application of sound evokes a sense of tranquillity and ambience, occasionally juxtaposed with more abrasive elements. Though growing up learning classical violin and piano, Li displays a particular interest in unconventional instruments that are played through alternative physical interactions such as frictions, movements, contact, magnetic fields, or played with natural elements like air, water, and wind. In their music production, Li frequently utilises tapes, Theremin, Euphone, field recordings, contact microphones, synthesisers, as well as designing and making their own instruments.

Li's works have been premiered and performed internationally, with recent showcases at venues such as the Barbican Centre, esea contemporary, Lincoln Centre, The Kings Place, UCCA Beijing, MAO Turin, Cafe OTO, Bristol Old Vic, and more. Their work has been featured and reviewed by publications including The Guardian, BBC, Telegraph, DAZED, The Wire, The Vinyl Factory, Mixmag, CRACK magazine, and others.

(Images 1–3: Courtesy of the artist; Image 2: Li Yilei performance, esea contemporary, UK, 2022. Photography: Joe Smith)