Amazing Art

Amazing Art

Suspended disbelief: the amazing art of Li Wei

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Chinese artist Li Wei creates images of himself and his friends being thrown off buildings,

dangling from bridges and hanging off cars, all in the name of art.

Li’s photos can take up to six months to set up and involve huge crews organising props such as smoke,

mirrors, wires and cranes. After the photographs are taken the father of one removes traces of the wires with a computer.

Li, from Beijing, said: “One of the most difficult and expensive shots was where

myself and 12 people were flying behind a car and we had to use a lot of cranes to keep us all suspended”

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“My favourite photograph features my daughter holding some helium balloons and I am standing on them in mid air.

It was lovely working with my daughter and the photo represents my feelings,” he said

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The 40 year old has been producing works since 1999 and has made tens of thousands of pounds from his photographs

. He said: “I like to achieve the impossible. I have hurtled to the earth like a meteorite and flown through the air

. My pictures show the unstable, there’s a lot of danger and I love to create that feeling in my work”

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“Some of the images can be really complex and take up to six months to put together whereas some

are very simple and can be planned in a sketch and shot immediately”

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“The images can involve me getting battered around a bit – most times

I will pick up an injury from the stunt wires, one time I got my head stuck in a pane of smashed glass”

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“It can be dangerous, but I like to ride that line, to me it’s worth it to defy gravity or fly through the air,” he said

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A Pause for Humanity 3

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Live at the High Place 1

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On the Surface of the Earth

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His work has been featured on popular wesites

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Don’t try this at home, particularly if – like performance artist Li Wei – you live in a tower block

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These amazing photographs are not montages and do not involve any computer trickery

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he relies on his own acrobatic skills, honed from years of martial arts training

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The pictures feature Wei suspended in a string of impossible situations at locations across Hong Kong and China

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Others include images of him plunging through a car windscreen…

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…embedded in ice…

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…and floating mid-air with a bunch of friends perched on his back

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“I am fascinated by the unstable and dangerous sides of art and I hope my works reflect these aspects,” he says

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“Sometimes I am in real danger –

I have to hang myself high with steel wires and people do get a little worried for me – but I am fine”

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We can’t help wondering whether it might not be easier – and safer – to use Photoshop

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