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Li Wei is one of the most refreshing talents of the Chinese art scene. His comical, absurdist images of people in various gravity-defying situations depict a hubristic role-playing of both surrealist and superhero tropes. While the contemporary art world is no stranger to fantastically staged photography, Li’s work is exceptional for its remarkable realism. Set against cloudless blue skies and the unadulterated cityscape of Beijing without additional lighting design, the ludicrous ongoings of his subjects retain an uncanny sense of normalcy. A monk flying casually on a platform of red smoke pellets, a boxing match off the ledge of a skyscraper, and a human missile sticking out of a broken car window are just a few of the ridiculous antics Li has orchestrated using stage-production equipment such as metal wires, harnesses and scaffolding. Endlessly ingenious, amusing and self-deprecating, Li’s oeuvre manifests a desperate yet futile attempt to defy and escape the harsh social realities of modern China.
Born in Hubei, China in 1970, Li practiced painting, performance art and film production before culminating his practice in the surrealist staged photography which he has come to be known for. Li has risen to forefront of contemporary fine art photography, exhibiting at the 55th Venice Biennale, Paris Photo, Shanghai Expo; Prague Biennial, Festival Images, Switzerland; Chinese Visual Festival, London; and published on many occasions on the cover of cutting-edge magazines such Flash Art, Work, Magazin-Frankfurter Rundschau, Out of the Red, Zoom, Juliet, Contemporary, Theater Forum, NY Arts, Fine Arts Literature, Lapiz and Arte Al Limite. He has also featured extensively in group and solo shows at institutions such as Centre PasquArt Center, Switzerland; Toulouse Art Museum, France; Museum Of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Auxerre Museum, France; Museum Of Contemporary Art KIASMA, Helsinki; Artium Museum, Spain; The Ringling Museum of Art, Florida; Gidang Museum, Korea; Seoul Museum of Art; Songzhuang Museum of Art; Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston; National Museum Of Contemporary Art, Korea. The artist lives and works in Beijing.
Image: Source Youtube.com