Behind the Scenes of Li Wei's Stunning, Gravity-Defying Photographs

More

It looks like Li Wei has some new tricks up his sleeve. The mysterious Chinese creator specializes in confusing performance art photography, recording physically challenging productions — not just relying on Photoshop, as many artists do, but by recreating conceptual stunts using bodily strength and painstaking detail. “I know having a concept is not enough,” Wei admits. “You have to pay attention to detail,” he says in our Creator profile, below. 

Wei’s just unveiled some new works on his website, and they certainly don’t disappoint. But this time, instead of stepping in front of the lens in every shot, Wei’s chosen to focus on the scenery. 

Buddha takes the spiritual icon to new heights, propelling a praying figure up above the mountains in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Billowing plumes of scarlet smoke turn a passive icon into a commanding power.

SEE MORE FROM

He continues to exploit the breathtaking backdrop of St. Moritz, showcasing a great pair of gams aiming skyward in V-Space–St. Moritz. This disembodied lower half, like the Buddha we saw above, conveys strength and power through Wei’s new view.

Our favorite is this ironic image, St. Moritz 2011.08.23, featuring a devoted-looking monk surfing the St. Moritz waters as serenely as the picturesque town behind him. If only he was pictured walking on water.

Wei steps back in front of the camera to recreate Noah’s Ark. A woman, two children and a raft-load of stuffed animals help to complete this modern-day representation of the Biblical tale.

Like a true magician, Wei never reveals his secrets to his stupefied audience, preferring to let us wonder and let his images speak for themselves. “There’s an important point between reality and fantasy,” Wei says. “I’m trying to find that point in my art.”

Written by Lauren Leibowitz for The Creators Project.  This post also appears on The Creators Project, an Atlantic partner site. 

Jump to comments

The Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE, supports artists across a range of disciplines who are using technology in innovative ways to push the boundaries of creative expression. More


Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In