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Princeton Profiles: Wendy Li, Exploring Memory Through Art

April 2nd, 2015
Princeton University senior Wendy Li, above, is writing her thesis in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs while pursuing a certificate in visual arts. In this video, she talks exploring her family history through photography.    Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications

Over a thousand black-and-white and color photos, spanning two walls and three generations, barely scratch the surface of senior Wendy Li's family history.

Li is pursuing a certificate in visual arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts, and her senior thesis show, "Self-Preservation," explored the role of photographs in discovering one's identity and creating memories.

Li collected photos and documents to tell her family's story, beginning with her grandparents in China and continuing with her parents' moves to Canada and the United States, for the show displayed on campus for a week in March. As visitors moved through her photo timeline, they could sense the progression of time as the same individuals were featured in most of the photographs.

"My thesis is sort of a play on the historical museum," said Li, of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, who is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "I'm thinking about how archives are displayed and how they are incorporated into history."

Read full story here.

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