The Jaw-Dropping Gravity-Defying Photography of Li Wei

Li Wei is a Beijing-based artist that creates jaw-dropping scenes using mirrors, metal wires, scaffolding, and acrobatics. Check out his website here.

PetaPixel: Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

Li Wei: I was born in HuBei province. I studied oil painting when I was in college. And I went to Beijing in 1993 and went to East village, artists such like Zhang Huan influenced me a lot. So I started my performance art career before turning to photography. Today, photography is only a way of expressing, not my only medium. I also make statues. You can see performance elements in my works. I think this is my background.

PP: How did you first get into photography?

LW: I only use photography as a medium. From 2000. I don’t shoot myself.

I have my personal photographer.

PP: What equipment do you use these days?

LW: I use Hasselblad and Canon 5D mark II.

PP: How did you get the idea to create photographs that “defy gravity”?

LW: After my mirror series. I turned to gravity theme. I think that’s my symbol, also this is my own experience in the high places, that’s very important.

PP: How are the images made?

LW: I shot in real places with cranes and a technical crew, and I’ll remove the wires at my back in Photoshop.

PP: How much time does it take to create one of them?

LW: Not too sure. Maybe for several months, once I have an idea, I’ll start to make it happen.

PP: How many people are involve in each photo shoot?

LW: Sometimes many, a group of people, some times only myself.

PP: How are you able to use cranes? Do you rent them or do you have connections?

LW: I can rent it

PP: Where is your art on display? Do you sell prints?

LW: I have many representative galleries in Paris, HK, Spain and Berlin.

Yes, I sell prints.

PP: What advice do you have for new artists who would like to do what you do?

LW: Just follow your heart and try everything impossible.

PP: How much planning goes into a photograph? Do you write down or draw your ideas?

LW: I drew sketches. My photographer communicate with me and he knows my idea very well.

PP: Do you edit images yourself or does someone else do the Photoshop work?

LW: I do photoshop edit myself.

PP: What do you hope to achieve with your art?

LW: I will try everything impossible.