Jason Li CV
Jason Li is an independent designer and cartoonist with a research-driven practice. His works have been appeared at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Asian Art Museum, on the BBC, and on the radio in Spain. He is co-founder of The Civic Beat, a global research collective focused on the creative side of civic technology, and an editor at Paradise Systems, a publisher of exemplary comics from the United States and China. He is the Emoji Spelling Bee Champion of 2018. Once upon a time, he studied mechanical engineering and education.
Freelance designer, illustrator & consultant in Hong Kong, 2012-present
Freelance design, illustration and strategic services for technology, financial services, startup and non-profit clients in Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Co-founder at The Civic Beat, 2013-present
Research, design and writing around creativity, technology and social movements.
Co-founder & product designer at Canidu in Shenzhen, 2012
Research and design for an educational electronics product.
Creative Director at 3D Avatar School in Hong Kong, 2010-2012
Product strategy, user experience design and art direction for a massively multiplayer, language-learning game. Led a team of front-end developers, 3D artists, instructional designers and game designers.
Associate at Node* in Barcelona, 2008-2009
User experience design, ethnographic research and strategy workshops for consumer electronics and financial services in Europe and the Middle East. Led a team of user experience and industrial designers.
* Acquired by Europraxis Consulting in 2009
Research affiliate at The Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, 2008
Research, scenario planning and digital production for projects on the future of technology in China and Latin America.
Design research associate at Adaptive Path* in San Francisco, 2007
Ethnographic research, user experience and product strategy workshops for global social networking and media clients.
* Acquired by Capital One in 2014
Design intern at Microsoft Asia Center for Interaction Design in Beijing, 2006
Qualitative research, co-creation and concept design for a children's educational product.
Research assistant at The Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, 2005
Research, writing and workshops on the future of the internet in China.
Intern at The Long Now Foundation in San Francisco, 2005
Intern & web design contractor at Lemon Asia* in Hong Kong 2004
* Acquired by Digitas in 2007
Comics & graphic novels
The House on Horse Mountain, 2017 - present
A graphic novel about growing up in the bygone Hong Kong of the 1960s. It follows the story of Ann, a diligent but clumsy young girl, as she runs chores around town, gets into trouble at school, and tries to win her parents’ approval. It is based on my mother's stories about her childhood. (Chinese title: 馬山村九一五號.)
I Heart Writing, 2016 - 2017
An autobiographical webcomic about the grueling journey behind the creation of my first graphic novel: moving back in with mom and dad as an adult, the highs and lows of funemployment, and what it means to be a cartoonist in this day and age. Published weekly and formatted specifically for Instagram.
Cantonese Mom Recipes, 2016 - 2017
A short illustration series of home-cooked food. Dishes are digitally illustrated and accompanied by recipes, all based on things my Cantonese mom has cooked recently. This was a year-long experiment in learning to draw with my iPad and Apple Pencil.
Add Oil Comics, 2014 - present
A social advocacy webcomic that illustrates the social web. Add Oil Comics uses the comics medium to shine a light on various social movements around the world – whether it's Black Lives Matter, the Umbrella Movement, or transgender experiences. All comics are based on texts found on social media.
MBA Mondays Illustrated, 2013 - 2015
An illustrated edition of notable US venture capitalist Fred Wilson's introduction to business, finance and startups. Currently on its way to the New York Public Library's Digital Collections.
Adéu Barcelona Catalunya, 2010
A short book of graphic essays based on my experience of living in Barcelona from 2008 to 2010. Topics include the ins and outs of the Catalan identity, work/office culture and what it's like to be Kinda Chinese In Barcelona.
Reflections On Work, 2009
A short picture book about the wild world of white-collar work. Delves into the tenets of corporate culture (work gossip, bosses, other people's salaries...) that I discovered in my first three years of being a white-collar professional.
I Heart Recession, 2009 - 2013
Laughing at ourselves about the recession. Reflecting on absurdities surrounding the Great Recession of 2008 – whether it's the things people said, the fantastical creatures invented by the press, or artifacts we created.
I Heart Brown, 2006 - 2007
A sardonic take on student life at an elite American university – tackling stereotypes, exploring the wild world of collegiate identity politics and poking fun at the ridiculousness of privilege. Initially published online, it eventually found its way onto the main school newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald.
Works shown as part of
The House on Horse Mountain x Congteakafe (2018), 茶咖里 Congteakafe, Hong Kong
Mozilla Festival 2017 (Artist Open Studios), Ravensbourne College, London
V&A Friday Late x Boiler Room (2017), Victora and Albert Museum, London
Memes, Puns and Selfies: A Look at Chinese Digital Culture (2015), Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Canidu: it just clicks (2012), Maker Faire Bay Area, San Mateo
Speaking & teaching
Hanmoji (2018), Emojicon
如何運用社交媒體推廣議題 [using social media to popularize issues] (2017), Culture & Media Education Foundation + HKCSS
Turn your problem into a comic! 🎨💡 (2017), Citizen Lab Summer Institute
Panel Discussion: Cross Over Collaboration – Art & Tech (2014), K11 Art Foundation
Design classes on wireframes, lean UX and personas (2014), General Assembly
DIY Superhero Comic (2011), Elephant Community Press
Qui sont ces bénévoles qui créent nos emojis? (2018), BFMTV
PEN Hong Kong Members’ Corner September 2018: Jason Li (2018), PEN Hong Kong
Why Jason Li is Paying Homage to His Mother’s Childhood in a Hong Kong Shantytown (2017), Zolima
Protect your Digital Presence with Secure Accounts (2017), The Citizen Lab
Sang fàcil (2010), El Punt Avui
El final de Lost a la xarxa i un hongkonguès a Catalunya (2010), RAC1
Cuba online, blogging citjo and recession funnies (2009), BBC Radio 5 Live
Publications & awards
Academic papers & patents
Moraveji, N., Li, J., Ding, J., O'Keeley, P., Woolf, S. (2007). Comicboards: Using Comics as Proxies for Participatory Design with Children. ACM CHI, San Jose, CA. (acceptance rate 22%)
Li, J., Ding, J., Moraveji, N., O'Keeley, P., Woolf, S. (2007). Designing Games to Address 'Mute English' Among Children in China. HCI International, Beijing, China.
20080254430 Parent guide to learning progress for use in a computerized learning environment (10-16-2008)
Select articles on external publications
Beauty Brawl: How inclusive are beauty brands around the world? (2018), The Pudding
My Beloved Mother: A Comic Book Epic About Human-Android Discrimination (2017), Radii China
On Drawing Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution as a Comic Strip (2015), Global Voices
Ping Pong — the collective comics magazine (2015), 艺术界 Leap
Fact-Checking the Hype Surrounding FireChat in Hong Kong's Protests (2015), Global Voices Advox
How the Umbrella ‘Revolution’ meme hurt the movement in Hong Kong (2014), DIS Magazine
M+ Data Design Hackathon Winning Team, M+ Matters: Art and Design in the Digital Realm (September 2018)
Emoji Spelling Bee 2018 Winner, Emojicon (July 2018)
Brown University, 2002-2007
BSc, Mechanical Engineering
BA, Education Studies
Honors: magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi
Groups: International Mentoring Programme, Brown Daily Herald
Parsons School of Design, 2001, 2003
Summer courses in animation & industrial design
More information available on my website.