Hi Si, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Si. I graduated from USC studying Design and Film production. I love surfing, skateboarding, and being outdoors. Recently, my film was selected as the Finalist in 2020 Women of Cinematic Arts Feminist Media Festival by Sundance. Further, my recent photography was featured in Vogue’s January 2021 Issue. I also had the opportunity to direct virtual campaigns for New York Fashion Week May 2020 and Feb 2021.
What made you apply for this job?
I stopped caring and decided to live the life I wanted to lead instead of remaining constricted to the one others expected or even demanded of me. One thing I’ve learned from surfing is that we cannot predict nor control the flow of a tide. That being said, why should we try to predict our every move in life? My dream is to tell the stories of minority surfers and discrimination faced within the surfing industry. Admittedly a hard task at hand, even without the constant guilt and stress that my traditional family puts on me; including how “wild” and “less human” I have become since I started surfing. But I have never been one to give up. So, I have decided to disobey cultural traditions and chase my dream of being a film director and surfer for the rest of my life. Always in pursuit of my next adventure.
What is surfing for you?
To me, surfing seems to have no barriers.
Time and place become irrelevant,
it’s the sensation of being in the mighty power of the water.
Age, race, gender, etc. have no significance or holding on your potential in the surf.
While facing the enormous ocean,
you are just a tiny human trying to soak up every moment
and feel the touch, the salty rawness from nature and her endless beauty.
Surfing is like traveling, you might think you are alone, but you are never quite alone.
The sea is like an adrenaline rush,
it gives you positive energy to uplift your day.
Sometimes that’s all you need, the sensation of the sea.
It is never about riding the waves, but the process of chasing
You paddle so hard for those couple of seconds of standing up,
and that couple seconds can bring you joy that will last for days or even weeks.
And let’s be honest, it feels better than any orgasm.
We create so many faces to mask ourselves to the world so we can be accepted by our society,
but the ocean has the power to strip down all our masks.
I hope through my lens, I can make people feel what it's like to truly be alive.
Let's spread the stoke together.
How would you describe a good sense of humor?
My level of humor is quite low, I pee my pants for my own jokes.
Why do you think you are the best person for this job?
I was backpacking around the world searching for waves for the past 3 years. The only difference now is I am going to document it in front of the camera and share my experience with anyone who wishes to watch.
To be honest, I never thought there would be a job that is asking me to be me, I am so grateful and lucky that I get the opportunity to be part of the team and get paid to live the dream.
There is a void in the media glorifying the progress of surfing. Most surf films you see out there are telling stories about the highly skilled pro surfers traveling around the world. There are 50 million surfers out there surfing and not all are pro. Not everyone has the privilege to surf growing up, and showing the pain and joy through the process of getting better is relatable for many. I hope I can inspire others that age doesn't matter, and it is never too late to start traveling and surfing.
What are you looking forward to the most this coming year?
I cannot wait to surf till my arms turn into noodles. I actually live quite far from my local home spot, about an hour drive, and the waves are not consistent there. The thought of hearing the waves crashing while I sleep turns me on more than any man in the world.
Here is Si Li’s application video. Her journey will begin in April.
Make sure you follow it on our YouTube channel.
See you in the waves, Si!