Li Wei

China 1970

Performance Art, Photography, Illustration, Video Art

Li Wei
Li Wei
March 24, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Li Wei is an internationally known Chinese artist born in 1970. In his work, Wei combines several artistic mediums including performance, photography, installation and video that create illusions of a sometimes dangerous reality. Often depicted in apparently gravity-defying situations including floating in the air, on the top of a skyscraper, or falling upside down from the sky, with his head embedded into the ground, the Chinese artist doesn’t use computer montages, but mobilizes cranes, scaffoldings and metal wires to achieve his acrobatic images.

At age 19, Li Wei migrated to Beijing. In 1993 he enrolled in a private art school to study oil painting but left it after a year due to his disappointment with its dogmatic teaching methods. Through his association with performance artist Zhu Ming, who were a close friend to the East Village artists group, led by Zhang Huan, Li Wei was introduced to performance art, which, for him, appeared both novel and inspiring. Wei came to realize that performance art was a more effective way through which to execute his artistic concept, and that the human body was a more effective medium through which to carry out his artistic ideas. In the East Village art community, the shocking performance works by Zhang Huan and Ma Liuming opened his eye. Li came to understand the repetitive rhetoric of painting and decided to give up painting to engage with performance art. It enabled Wei to have a dialogue with his audience and to bring them into the artistic process. In addition, performance art also allowed Li Wei to create and manipulate his own fantasy realities.

He began to use mirrors in a distinctive way to scrutinize and play with reality. The mirror would usually contain a hole in the middle for Li Wei to insert his head. With this technique he is able to create an “illusory superimpositions and fusions” and to express his personal thoughts, experiences and address some social issues that occur in our daily lives.

Li Wei’s rise to fame was through his performance of the “Falls” series in which he sticks himself in the group as a missile. His work questions human perceptions of social spaces and expresses a need of freedom: it draws out the fine line between reality and fantasy and points it out to the audience. His art may seem humorous but they address wide range of topics from gender relations to politics.

Li Wei has participated in numerous solo and group exhibited worldwide, including China, France, US, Denmark, Hong Kong, UK, Italy, Spain and Australia, among others. HIs works have been published on the cover of the magazines such as Flash Art, Work, Magazin-Frankfurter Rundschau, Out of the Red, Zoom, Juliet, Contemporary, Theater Forum, NY Arts, Fine Arts Literature, Lapiz and Arte Al Limite.

Artist lives and works in Beijing, China.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014Fly over Amsterdam, RotterdamHollandsolo
2014Fly over MilanItaliysolo
2014Fly at The Grand Palace ParisFrancesolo
2014Li Wei, High PlacePairs-Beijing Gallery, Francesolo
2014Li Wei, the flying Chineseman, Happiness TheoryGRID2014, Amsterdam solo
2014LiWei-High PlacePairs-Beijing Gallery, Brusselssolo
2014Fly over the Ringling Museum of ArtFlorida, USAsolo
2014Photography and Video Art in China NowThe Ringling Museum of Art, USAgroup
2014ItineraryGidang Museum, Koreagroup
2014Liquid TimesSeoul Museum of Artgroup
2014Bin He 1996-2004Song Zhuang Museum of Artgroup
2013AutostadtWolfsburg, Germanysolo
2013Flying of DreamsZAT Montpellier, Francesolo
2013Anti GravityShangHaisolo
2013The 55th Venice Biennale Venice Biennale Kenya Pavilion, Italygroup
2013The Rapture of Romantic IllusionsFudi Aromatic Villa, Shanghai group
2013See But Not NowShanghai group
2013Roots Of RelationsSongzhuang Art Center, Bejjinggroup
2013Rapid Pulse International Performance Art FestivalFrancegroup
2012Li WeiDock Sud gallery, France solo
2012Li WeiParc de la Villette, Paris solo
2012The High Life Of LiweiKunst Licht Photo Art Gallery,Shanghai solo
2012Standing At The Water's EdgeM97 Gallery, Shanghai group
2012Dream City Tunisia 2012Tunisgroup
2012A History of Chinese Contemporary PhotographyParis-Beijing Gallery, Brussels, Belgiumgroup
2012Daydreaming With…Hong Kong group
2012Research Exhibition On Post-70s Generation Artists Jianghan Star Plan 2012 Rejoice In DissensusWuHan Art Museum group
2012Monzza Shunde BiennaleItaly group
2012L’Art De La Radiance-30th Anniversary Celebration Presented By Cle De Peau BeauteHong Kong group
2012Contemporary Chinese PhotographyKatonah Museum Of Art, USAgroup
2012Now, China, Korea, 2012, Contemporary Korean And Chinese Art ExhibitionBeijinggroup
2011Li Wei, Lucca Photo FestLucca, Italy solo
2011Lucca Photo FestLucca, Italy group
2011I believe that…, Chinese contemporary art exhibitionSongzhuang Museum,Beijing group
2011Divided by The CurtainsBeijing Times Art Museum group
2011Chinese Visual Festival 2011, lost In TransformationLondongroup
2011Li Wei & Aleiandro MirandaGalerie Daniel Tanner Gmbh, Zurich, Switzerland group
2011St.Moritz mastersSt Moritz, Switzerland group
2011box(e)Jerome Zodo Contemporary, Milan, Italy group
2010Photo Phnom PenhCambodia solo
2010Beyond Gravity10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong solo
2010Li Wei Performance Take Away Shanghai Tang, Hong Kong solo
2010Daegu Photo Biennale 2010Daegu, Korea group
2010Passing ChinaGallery Sanstorium, Istanbul, Turkey group
2010Fuck Ups, Fables And Fiascos Galerie Caprice Horn, Berlin group
2010Foundation Vevey, Ville D'imagesFestival Images, Switzerland group
2010China Photographs MadridMadrid Pavilion Of The EXPO 2010, Shanghai group
2010Mostra Sesc De Artes 2010St. Paul, Brazil group
2010China Welcomes You Begegnungen 2010Stadtmuseum Oldenburg group
2010Photo Phnom PenhCambodiagroup
2009Li WeiGaleria Tribeca, Madrid, Spain solo
2009The Amazing Mirror Maze Of The SelfMichael Schultz Gallery, Beijing solo
2009Besides GravityMogadishni Cph Gallery, Denmark solo
2009WidthMuseum Of Contemporary Art Beijing, China group
2009Beijing TimeMatadero Madrid, Madrid, Spain group
2009China: The Contemporary RebirthPalazzo Reale Museum, Milan, Italy group
2009Mouvement d'Art PublicMake Art Public (MAP), Canada group
2009China Now: The Edge Of DesireMaxlang And Lillian Heidenberg Fine Art Presents, US group
2009Action-Camera: Beijing Performance PhotographyMorris And Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver group
2008Li Wei Ye Rong Jia Culture & Art Foundation, Taiwan solo
2008Fabricating Images From HistoryChinablue Gallery, Beijing group
2008Consumption Of HistoryEast Asia Contemporary, Shanghai, China group
2008Out Of PlaceRobischon Gallery, Denver, USA group
2008Beijing 2008Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerlandgroup
2008Supernatural: China's Contemporary PhotographyArtgate Gallery, NY group
2008Assembling Under The Five RingsThe Legend Luxury & Entertainment Center, Beijing group
2008Body Art: New Photography From ChinaAsian Art Coordinating Council, Denver, USA group
2008Drawn In The Clouds: Contemporary Asian ArtMuseum Of Contemporary Art KIASMA, Helsinki group
2008Immoral Facts And FablesGalerie Caprice Horn, Berlin group
2007Li Wei Falls To…Espace Cultural Ample Gallery, Spain solo
2007Red Hot, Asian Art Today From The Chaney Family CollectionMuseum Of Fine Arts, Houstongroup
2007Made In China, China Art NowLouisiana Museum, Danmark group
2007Liwei Weihong HuanyanBarbaradavis gallery, Houstongroup
2007The 38th Recontres De Arles PhotographieArles, France group
2007Chinese PhotographyCriterion Gallery, Australia group
2007Szene-Sommer’07Salzburg, Austria group
2007ZhuyiArtium Museum, Spain group
2007China Now: Lost In TransitionEli Klein Gallery, NYgroup
2007SurrealitesCentrepasquart Art Center, Switzerlandgroup
2006Li WeiPyo Gallery, Seoulsolo
2006Transcendence:A Mirror Of ChinaNew York solo
2006Li Wei10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Central Hong Kong solo
2006Li WeiGrleria Espacio Minimo, Madrid, Spain solo
2006Cold EnergyPYO, Beijing group
2006Park In ProgressFrancegroup
2006For All AudiencesSala Rekalde Art Museum, Bilbao, Spaingroup
2006Retours De ChineToulouse Art Museum, Francegroup
2005Illusory RealityMarella Gallery, Beijing solo
2005New Photographers 2006Cannes group
2005Ruins FlowersOx Warehouse, Macau group
2005Out Of The Red-2Marella Gallery, Italygroup
200570 Empress ArtsToday Art Museum, Beijing group
2004Li WeiMarella Gallery, Italy solo
2004Between Past And Future - New Photography And Video From ChinaIcp, Asia Society, New Yorkgroup
2004Officina AsiaGalleriad’Arte Moderna Cesena, Bologna, Italygroup
2004TiananmenParis, Francegroup
2004Artificial MerrimentMelbourne, Australiagroup
2003China Art Now, Out Of The RedFlashart Museum, Italy group
2003I Am China, Chinese Conceptual PhotographySOHO, Beijinggroup
2003Manufactured HappinessShangri - La Art Space, Beijing group
2003The Peripheries Become The CenterPrague Biennialgroup
2003DNA, VisualBeijinggroup
2003Bare AndrogynyBeijinggroup
2003Asia Art NowSeoul Museum, Seoulgroup
2002Flying, Performance, Photography, VideoBeijing Red Square, Beijinggroup
2002The 2nd Pingyao International PhotographyPingyao, Shanxi, Chinagroup
2002Red Square, Contemporary ArtBeijing Red Square, Beijinggroup
2002Mask Vs FaceRed Gate Gallery, Beijinggroup
2002Bogus, Chinese Conceptual PhotographyHall Of Capital Normal University, Beijing group
2002Mois De La Photo, Histoires De ChineAuxerre Museum, Francegroup
20010℃Beijing Bridge Art, Beijinggroup
2001Constructed RealityBeijinggroup
2001Hong Kong Conceptual PhotographyHong Kong Arts Center, Hong Konggroup
2001Pawn Com, Site PerformanceHappy Garden Bar, Beijing group
2001Scar, Chinese Conceptual PhotographyExhibition Hall Of Capital Normal University, Beijinggroup
2001Site Of City, Four Person Conceptual PhotographyFun Gallery, Beijing group
2000Open Art PlatformPerformance Art Festival, Beijing group