Buddha at the St Moritz
Conflict is up in the air
Images via LDX Gallery
Cool…the happiness of artist Li Wei
I had the pleasure of speaking to one of the most interesting performance artists in China, Li Wei at the recent opening of his solo exhibition at the LDX Gallery in Hong Kong.
Li’s work is characterised by his daring stunts, which sometimes leave him injured. Recently he cracked a couple of ribs while working out one of his performances. However, he was in fine form despite confiding to me that he was good at nothing else except for art!
Floating in air, balanced on high buildings, Li pushes the boundaries between the possible and the impossible. His works are not computer enhanced. Each of them are created with the use of wires, cranes and mirrors as well as Li’s own acrobatic talents. He spends a great deal of his time scouting locations for his performances- they are invariably set in beautiful environments and capture a sense of place and time as well as a sense of wonder.
Often, when working out a performance, his assistants are overwhelmed by the breadth of his ambition, but usually, mostly with the help of enthusiastic participants and willing local authorities, he ends up exceeding the imagination of his collaborators. Most of his works include his own likeness, though some, like 2011’s Conflict is up in the air, uses some very game locals.
Recently, his works seem to have taken a religious turn, depicting a series of Buddhas floating in mid-air. This return to spiritualism is a reflection of the beauty of the world and awe at its making. However, spirtuality aside, Li’s work is imbued with a sense of fun as well as a healthy respect for the laws of gravity- giving us a sense of the moment but without losing a feeling of joyful frivolity.
Li Wei’s exhibition continues until 14th November.
Gallery 13 Art One, M/F Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
M: 9288 3233 | T: 2511 2660 | F: 2511 2661