Defying Gravity

Hero liwei1

Feb 4, 2013 | By Maryam Shamlou

Li Wei may not be Super Man in real life, but in his intricately staged photographs, he and his cast of characters certainly appear like they hail from planet Krypton.

While it's difficult to discern, each of Beijing-based artist Li Wei's photographs are highly orchestrated photo shoots, involving crews, cranes, and plenty of wire. The staged scenes are later doctored in Photoshop to appear as if his subjects (often himself and one or a few accomplices) float and fly in ways our natural laws do not permit.

Part performance and part digital art, Wei's visual trickery results in arresting, dream-like, images that abstract the process that precede them. It's an illusion that's easy to fall into. They're likely to get a laugh out of you too.


The Creators Project, a collaboration between Vice and Intel, put together a brief documentary on Li Wei that's worth watching in it's entirety.