Born in Beijing, Li graduated from Anhui Teachers University in 1977 and taught there until immigrating to the United States in 1983. She received her MFA from Parson’s School of Design. She has exhibited at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Hood Museum of Art, the National Academy Museum, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery, among others. Li has been a been a visiting artist, lecturer, and critic at numerous colleges, including Swarthmore College, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Dartmouth College and has been awarded residential fellowships at Centro Incontri Umani Ascona, Switzerland; Valparaiso Foundation, Spain; Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society, Newfoundland; and Château Rochefort-en-Terre, France. She is currently department chair and professor of fine arts at Haverford College.