Aaron Li-Hill

from ABC: ANYTHING BUT CANVAS [July 8 to 25, 2010]

The Crash [2010]
Scrap paper, acrylic, spray paint, collage on car door
3’ 6” x 3’ 10”

Wasteland [2010]
Spray paint, acrylic, scrap paper, collage on bed frame head board
2’ 5” x 2’ 9.5”


In the 21st century we are facing the most complex and devastating problems this world has seen. Urbanization, globalization, waste, consumerism, climate change, population growth, extinction, are just a few of the problems. These issues are not autonomous, interconnectedness is vital to understanding and dealing with them. Through the use of mix media on found objects, my aim is to address this interconnected force and create links between the process, the subject matter and the materials. My hope is to awaken and change the decisions of consumers and members of this global community.


Aaron Li-Hill was born in 1986 in the High Park area of Toronto, Canada. He has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pencil and been influenced by graffiti not long after. Li-Hill once said he "remembers riding the train between Keele and Dundas West station as young as 6, standing to look at all the art on the walls". At the age of 13 Li-Hill learned about graffiti from a skateboard shop called Spazz. During that year he came up with his very first tag name, Snap. At age 15 Li-Hill met two other skateboarder/graffiti artists, one was Order and the other was Bardia Zargham also known to Toronto as Alfa (Toronto's first graffiti related death). These two artists greatly influenced Li-Hill and not long after his illegal graffiti career ensued. At the age of 17 Li-Hill was arrested and charged 80 counts of mischief. In the end the crown agreed that Li-Hill was to paint a mural in a catholic school as punishment. Through this community service Li-Hill learned the joy of murals and found his passion.

Since then Li-Hill has painted hundreds of canvases and hundreds of walls. He is currently enrolled in the Ontario College of Art and Design where he is completing his thesis and BFA. As Well as 4 years of school Li-Hill has also done extensive travel which he considers a more potent form of education. He has spent one year traveling Europe and one year living in Melbourne Australia, done in-between the first and second year of school. He has also recently traveled to Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, China and Mexico.

In the future Li-Hill hopes to receive grants to complete increasingly large scale murals. He also hopes to continue painting till the day he dies and influence as many people as possible about the importance of public art and the capacity graffiti and street art have to change a city.