The South Korea international, who is on a season-long loan from Swansea, wants to repay the faith shown in him by the Italian.
"I'm very pleased to join Sunderland and also I heard a lot of good things about them, so I'm looking forward to playing football with them," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"I know that the manager has done interviews in which he has said good things about me, which gives me a lot of confidence.
"When I was a kid, I saw him playing and I'm really looking forward to working with him as a manager of this team."
One of Di Canio's top priorities over the summer was a play-making, box-to-box midfielder - and Ki is ready to show the Black Cats he was the right signing.
"This is maybe a nice strength - to keep the ball and pass the ball to our forwards," the 24 year-old added.
"Sometimes I join in the attack, but it doesn't matter to me - I can go from defensive to offensive - I can do both, so I have a lot of confidence with that."
Ki is expected to make his debut in next Saturday's home clash against Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League.