05 January 2010

Li Wei Falls to the...

If the body were medium and the earth canvas, we might come to understand performance artist Li Wei's most famous body of work. The Chinese daredevil began the series of photographs in 2002, in which the illusion is created that his body has fallen from the sky like a human rocket on a crash course with the various global locations below. Head and chest submerged, legs erect, his images are not computer generated and require a series of scaffolding and wire to hold his body vertical which are later removed.

Wei suggests these images are a commentary on the ways in which China's rapidly transforming economic and urban landscape transforms a once familiar homeland into an unfamiliar society. The sensation of falling from another planet, headfirst into the unknown, with no soft landing and nothing under one's feet. Something we can all understand.

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