Patrick Li: Fortune Room


Patrick Li
Fortune Room

September 4 – November 28, 2020
Preston Gallery

Virtual Artist Talk: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 7:00pm. Please register via Eventbrite

“A wonderful memory: after a tasty meal from the local Chinese restaurant, the servers always brought me a cookie to complete the meal. This sweet delight was such a treat not only because it tasted great, but there was that wee slip of paper—my fortune.” –Patrick Li

For three years, Patrick Li collected cookie fortunes left behind by diners at Chinese restaurants in communities across the country. Here, Li gives those found fortunes new life by returning them to their original purpose, and invites us to pause and revisit these words, some of which may be familiar from our own experiences of excitedly breaking open a cookie to reveal our fortune and lucky numbers.

Alongside these works, the exhibition presents two new installations that focus on the cookie and its origins. Like the reclaimed fortunes, the words and phrases the artist hand-printed on each cookie are hopeful, humorous, and sometimes surprising, and may seem particularly resonant in the present moment.

Li’s careful, labour-intensive processes draw our attention to small, quickly-forgotten or consumed objects, reminding us of the importance of individual actions and the power of the collective.

Image: Patrick Li, Fortune Cities, 2020, Concept Rendering.

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Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange presents contemporary art, architecture and design from three galleries in the City of Cambridge: Design at Riverside, Preston, and Queen’s Square.

Cambridge Art Galleries acknowledges that the place on which we gather is the traditional land of Indigenous peoples dating back countless generations. We recognize that it is part of the Haldimand Tract, the traditional land of the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange
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