Spotlight | Li Hui
Self-taught photographer Li Hui’s expansive vision of photography finds beauty in everyday life and beyond formal distinctions.
Brought up in China, her body of work explores a variety of different fields, though her use of light has become her style’s most recognizable feature. Her first book, After The Wind (2010), investigates the beauty of mysteries in the wilderness. Her most recent book, No Word From Above (2017), illustrates the sheer diversity of life and the natural world, serving as a tribute to visible but easily overlooked intimate details and the unknown aspects of nature. The release was accompanied by an eponymous exhibition. Her work has been featured in many publications and has been exhibited across the globe.
Favorite place to shoot?
I like to be surrounded by the mysteries of the natural world.
My first camera was a …
Describe yourself in three words.
Quiet, sensitive, weird.
Describe your work in three words.
Delicate, surreal, mysterious.
When and how did your journey as an artist begin?
I'm not really sure about the real meaning of the word “artist”. Although I've been pursuing photography for almost 10 years, I try to challenge myself and implement new changes every single year. I’m not sure if that is the moment my journey as an artist began, but I decided to completely focus on photography about two years ago when I found my own personal style. Before this, photography was more like one of my favorite hobbies. I mostly documented my own life and took a bunch of experimental photos.
What camera(s) do you prefer to use?
Most of the time, I prefer 35mm film cameras. They are not heavy, so it’s easy to find many new angles and carry them with me everywhere. But I recently decided to start using a medium format film camera to see if there will be new perspectives and changes to my work. Trying new equipment is always super exciting.
Could you describe a bit about the type of photography/design do you pursue?
Simple, calm, strange but beautiful with a little magic.
Are there any projects you are currently pursuing or would like to pursue?
I am currently working on new photos for my next book. The idea behind it is based on a particular song about falling in love and being infatuated with somebody. But progress will be rather slow because there are other things I’m doing at the same time. Hopefully, I will take some interesting enough pictures and they will match each other perfectly. That’s always my goal, and it’s a long-term process to find something deeper, just like drawing a perfect circle.