Your first reaction when you see these photos from Chinese photographer Li Wei, will be to think they’ve been Photoshopped or altered in some way. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. What’s happening in each shot, actually happened in real life.
Wei uses a series of visual tricks involving mirrors and wires to make the viewer believe that the people in his photos are actually flying through the air. It’s pretty darned clever and convincing. Just look at these pictures!
He takes the whole “smoke and mirrors” thing quite literally.
But the outcome is brilliant.
Nowadays, most shots like this are achieved through digital manipulation.
But, oh no. Not for Li Wei.
Chinese artist Li Wei’s photographs defy gravity with himself often at the helm. They are the documentation of reality that involves sometimes-dangerous stunts that the artist says aren’t doctored by computers. Instead, he uses mirrors, wires, acrobatics, and more to give the illusion that people are flying and have transcended above cityscapes.
In a 2012 interview with The Creators Project, Wei says “we are all controlled by someone else. Our thoughts and actions are all controlled by an unseen force.” These images demonstrate an effort to break free of constraints and limitations, and teeter the line between fantasy and reality. Specifically, Wei is talking about the rapid change in China’s economy, but they hold a wider-reaching message. His photographs could be seen as a meditation on our consciousness, hopes, and desires of wanting complete freedom but having to live within the confines of society.
That seems like a fun photo shoot to be a model for. Artists like Li Wei aren’t letting technological advancements kill their creativity. Sure, you can do just about anything in Photoshop… but, if you’re creative enough, you can do just about anything anyway.
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