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Not Photoshopped: Li Wei’s Works Action Art

As anyone who watched the opening ceremony of the recent Beijing Olympics will attest, China has been enjoying a burgeoning of the performing arts in recent years. One of the most striking artists to emerge from this thriving scene is Li Wei, who has become renowned for his arresting and seemingly gravity-defying photographic work.

After dropping out of art school and dabbling in oil painting, Li decided to focus on action art because, as he puts it, only it “offers a chance to experience an action’s message through one’s own body.” Li threw himself (literally) into this medium of expression, staging stunts in which he captures on film exhilarating moments of apparently extreme danger.

Li uses a mixture of props, wires, cleverly positioned cameras and good old fashioned acrobatics to achieve the astounding effects in his photographs. However, quite aside from the immediate ‘Wow!’ factor, his art also makes some penetrating statements about the difficulties, particularly lack of security, of living in the modern age.

In Li’s words:

“There is a feeling of losing a grip on things, an uncertainty about the morrow. It’s a feeling of hanging in the air, of having nothing firm under the feet. And even if the family is my priority and thus a key part of my performances, I wonder: How much are we able to put up with?”

Judging from the invigorating sense of life that marks his work, it appears quite a bit. Check out Li’s website for more images and info on his works and technique. You’ll be amazed.

Sources 1, 2, 3 [environmentalgraffiti]