Li Ying Cai is one of the first Chinese women police officers in Christchurch and is well known in the community as an example of and champion for diversity.
She is also an accomplished artist, who with the support of the Chorus Box Art Cabinet Project, uses her skills to beautify Christchurch’s urban landscape.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful has partnered with Chorus(external link) on the project that aims to make communities more beautiful. The programme provides paint and encouragement to local artists to turn telecommunications cabinets into works of art.
Li Ying said she is keen for street art to reflect Christchurch’s different cultures. She chooses to paint cabinets based on their proximity to cultural landmarks. One example is her piece near Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in one of Christchurch’s busiest areas, Riccarton Road.
Li Ying commented on the differences and similarities between her art and police work “(art requires)…a focus on details and creative thinking which is the same as investigative police work. It’s also important to be able to switch my brain into a totally different world that is colourful and diverse to relax me after work.”
As part of our focus on connecting people in ethnic communities to each other, wider society, and government, The Office of Ethnic Communities work in partnership with Police on community outreach.