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By on October 29, 2008, with 209 Comments

I really have no idea how Li Wei managed to capture these photos of himself. The closest thing that comes to my mind is Johan Lorbeer.Dangling horizontally out of a skyscraper, his hovering figure looks set to fall to his doom, but this artist ‘jumper’ hasn’t just lost it all on a game of chance – this is performance art with a difference. Li Wei has previously produced series of self-portraits involving faces reflected in mirrors, and photographs of himself crashing into walls and sidewalks. His current work is a mixture of performance art and photography that creates illusions of a sometimes dangerous reality. I would really love if we could brainstorm on this “installation“, and maybe come to a decent conclusion.

Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions
Chinese artist Li Weis Optical Illusions


209 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    WOW! 1st?

  2. FaLcoN says:

    2nd … lol

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is the point in saying you’re first comment, and you don’t even say anything else? This gets so boring.
    These pictures are cool, though surely the images have been manipulated? Don’t really see how else they could be done.

  4. Luis Pachón says:

    3rd, (who’s counting anyway?) Wow, amazing Photoshop.

  5. K says:

    Pretty cool
    He has really short pants no?

  6. Anonymous says:

    wow. Wonder how they’re done?

  7. Isaiah Alvarez says:

    The picture is amazing the way he takes the moment is fascinating i love it

  8. Anonymous says:

    Possibly used some of the programmes that todays graphic artists use. My son is an animator and film maker and can do this sort of stuff.

  9. Anonymous says:

    stop caring about being 1st or 2nd

  10. Anonymous says:


    (3rd lolage)

  11. Anonymous says:


    Lol, hes weird

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lots of painstaking photoshop?

  13. FrankiiDoodle says:

    I’m guessing very, very good Photoshop skills. Not trying to be skeptical but I can’t think of anything else and the arm one does look a bit fake.

  14. Ryan says:

    Followed by 3rd =P

    Weird illusions

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow third!

    I’m guessing, the phots are photoshopped. Done quite well and a bit of thought put into layout and content. Pretty Neat if you like that sort of thing.

    Great site keep it up.

  16. Anonymous says:

    absolutely amazing!!!:O

  17. Anonymous says:

    5th is amazing

  18. Anonymous says:

    wow those are pretty awesome. I like the one with the tree

  19. Amina says:

    the guy in the jean shorts must be hated…
    cool pics btw

  20. Dan says:

    maybe its those SWEET shorts he is wearing! Yep that’s it!

  21. Andrei says:

    can I do that?

  22. Anonymous says:

    not really an illusion, but really neat and gotta give him creativity. -MESHUGGA

  23. Harry says:

    It goes without saying that the pictures are fantastic and have been created by somebody with a great deal of skill. However, until I saw the second to last photo I really wasn’t sure quite what combination of trick photography and computer based visual effects software he was using, but having seen the arm was clearly created in a 3D package such as Maya, 3D Studio Max or maybe even Poser, the artist behind them (Li Wei himself, I presume) is obviously a graphic designer with a lot of experience in layering. Layering being the use of green screens / rotoscoping (manually cutting out) to remove a background behind an object and inserting it into a background and playing around with it until it looks like it was there in the first place. I’d go with Shake, Photoshop and/or After Effects if I had to guess at the programs behind these awesome creations.

  24. Anonymous says:

    HOW?? HOW??!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    He is amazing w/PHOTOSHOP

  26. Griff496 says:

    These look cool… a new idea on the sit probably.
    3rd comment ? lolz

  27. Anonymous says:

    … i got nothing. i have no clue how he did these photos….
    I maybe even if i think i just for a second understand the first one… the rest of the rest of them are NUTS!
    way to go

  28. Anonymous says:

    third lol

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’m guessing that he uses some metal supports hidden from the camera. Or what’s stopping him from using wires that are then photoshopped out?

  30. Anonymous says:

    this site is soooo stupid why is it still on there are no optical illusions here pls remove this site asap

  31. MrPZS says:

    this is NOT a metroflog

    so comment some interesting…

    this artist are great, the pictures are awesome

    they are manipulated by any program???

    saludos desde mexico


  32. BraDRoBBo says:

    How the…
    -will check back to see potential answer(s)/thoughts! :P!-

  33. Anonymous says:


  34. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Adobe for the tools…
    Photoshop (or maybe Gimp?) isn’t
    that complicated ;)


  35. Anonymous says:


  36. Goeny says:

    First time i place a comment here. Seen a lot of nice illusions but this time i really had to say something about it.
    I am pretty sure all of the images are photoshopped. If you look very closely you can see color and lighting differences. I noticed it after i saw the 8th picture. (that one is clearly photoshopped)

  37. Anonymous says:

    Been checking the illusions through iGoogle for quite some time now, and gotta say these ones are the first ones I actually liked! Cheers Li Wei!

  38. Marcos de la Peña says:

    computers can do so many things…

  39. Anonymous says:

    with photoshop you can do wonders!

  40. Stephen says:

    Holy ****, these are awesome! I have no idea how he got these. I assume they aren’t photoshopped?

  41. uvalntine says:


  42. Wile di Rova says:

    Greats photos!

  43. Terra says:

    The second last one looks sorta photoshoped, But the other ones are really cool looing. I Don’t think they are all photoshop.

  44. Hombreverde says:


  45. Emzi says:

    Wonderful photo’s. The one with the huge arm is freaky though.

    Also, what’s the point in commenting with a declaration of being first or second? Especially if you have nothing to contribute to the post.

    I don’t get it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    mind boggling

  47. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the work of a Green/Blue screen to me

  48. great snowman says:

    wires and lots of them

  49. Anonymous says:

    5th one, I SED DIS IS SPARTAH! lol, NICE-ONES!

  50. Bubblegum423 says:

    Wow! Amazing!

  51. pAoLo says:

    Great lol!

  52. Anonymous says:

    way coool and far out amazing keep it up

  53. Anonymous says:

    i want to know how do they do that?o_0

  54. a05aafzul says:

    3rd here =] – and these are cool! wonder how they did em

  55. Zerav says:

    Perhaps photoshop?
    Maybe there are hidden nets somewhere, and/or hidden cords.

  56. Michel Carlini says:

    The artist stands that are no computer effcets applied, the photos are made using mirrors, wires, things like these…

  57. ME! says:

    I have one thing to say that I think summarizes everyone’s first reaction: HO-LY CRAP.

  58. Anonymous says:

    I read his interview during an art exhibition where his work is at display and he said that he uses mostly metal wires that are digitally removed afterwards. I guess he uses this method in most of his work.

  59. Dagger says:



    PHOTOSHOPPED?? i hope your referring to the fact that cables were removed from the pics.. right..
    have your guys even heard of a blue screen..
    the big hand is a model, not photoshopped. the guy was actually there when these pictures were taken.. he was suspended by cables..

    thats what u call art.. not some superimposed photoshop picture..

  60. Anonymous says:

    WOW these are real freaky, but did someone really get kicked off of the roof of a building?????????????

  61. Lorenzo says:

    Photoshop would seem a reasonable explication, but as some people may have said before, THESE PICTURES ARE NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. And that’s the cool thing about this Chinese artist: he manages to create seemingly impossible set-ups, using only (invisible) wires and stuff. But still, even if they WERE Photoshopped, the images would still be very cool.

  62. vbarata says:

    Well, the artist claims the photos are not edited or photoshopped in any way, that they are obtained by using mirrors, wires, hidden platforms and acrobatics. Lighting and edges seem nice in the pictures, also. The only one bugging me is of course the arm one, which really seems fake. If it is real, maybe it could simply be a metal bar inside a hard plastic cover in the shape of a giant arm. Fantastic work.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Nice work… good shots of Hong Kong.

  64. Anonymous says:

    It’s definitely just a green screen like they use in movies. You stand on chairs or hang from the cieling or whatever and put your surroundings in later

  65. Anonymous says:

    THIRD!!! Yas finally i got third.

  66. Ellie says:

    Wow! It could be three things:

    1. He has some awesome Photoshop skills.
    2. He’s a good illutionist.
    3. He’s a very, very brave person!

    Those pics are cool!

  67. Pikle says:

    I’m just curios why people who are like the 60th person to post put: “Hooray! I’m the 3rd person to post on here!!” Whats the point of even posting if your going to do that.

    Anywho, I really like these, they’re really cool. I agree that these are probably done using a blue screen in the back ground. My fav is the one where he looks like he’s stuck in the ground :D. The shorts need to be longer though…

  68. Anonymous says:

    IN the picture with the young man booting the other over the side of the building the kid with glasses is smiling/laughing.

  69. Cecilia says:

    But… ho..oo…w.w..w…..XP

  70. Jet Li says:

    nothing special with those pictures.

    all of stupid comments !

  71. Anonymous says:

    These photos are of Li Wei, a Chinese photographic artist. He uses rope to hang himself and others in the positions seen (then I’m assuming photoshops them out).

    You can check out a description from a recent exhibit at the UBC Art Gallery here http://www.belkin.ubc.ca/past/action-camera or his website here http://www.liweiart.com/

  72. Ryan says:

    Pretty neat!

  73. Jimbo says:

    What’s so amazing about it? Anyone with a photo shop program can do it on computer. It’s nothing special and it’s definitely not art.

  74. Yargh says:

    The 5th should be called :
    “This is SPARTA!”

  75. ellie says:

    its not possible for this guy to actually no tphotoshop the image ….

    coz like for eg. the pic where the man kicking him off the building ….

    i mean come on ..! how can he be doing that

    oh gosh especially the one where he looks like hes flying …


    its obviouslt photoshopped

  76. Dude says:

    It’s all forced perspective and camera angles. This person, as you can see, has mastered the art.

  77. Anonymous says:

    they may be on cables, but some of them look photoshopped

  78. heyheyhey says:


  79. shamaila says:

    great effort

  80. someone says:

    ok! haha

  81. marko says:

    cool bat hi makes does pictures fake

  82. luka says:

    im so happy you dont have to sing in to comment

  83. luka says:

    fale but cool

  84. luka says:

    hahaha 1.fake 2.cool 3.funny

  85. luka says:

    sorry aim luka and aim a srbian i dont write so gud and aim marko

  86. Chi says:

    You westerners don’t understand the Chinese way. We line up people on the death row and kick them off the roof one by one untill we get a decent picture.

  87. nobody says:

    i like the kicking off the roof one

  88. you do not wanna now says:

    it’s easy they’re jumping or the owner of this pictures took this pictures to the photo shop i think !!!!!!!!!!!!! but i dont get it
    please tell us please

  89. FFuk says:

    I have never seen any thing like this,
    but ART.. I dont think så,, Its like Chinees
    Muvie Stund.

  90. Factopo says:

    Ooooh, performance art! Neat!

  91. -.- says:

    second to last was photoshopped

  92. Photoshop… but really well done!

  93. gabriel says:

    in the one that shows him being kicked off a roof you can see the thin cable running from his waist through the kickers fist and continues on from there.

  94. Biz says:

    Very good tricks.

  95. ashish says:

    nice use of wires :D

  96. Nasir Yaqoob says:

    I like very much its very good

  97. really risky and nice .Chiness people always knows for extra ordinary and adventure

  98. wise says:

    Probably a steel structure supporting them from the back.. a very strong and stiff structure indeed.

  99. ender42 says:

    :) I like the basketball one. Very creative.

  100. Dmeetei says:

    It is really brave !!!!!!

  101. Dmeetei says:


  102. ronny says:

    Not really optical illusions, but photoshop.

  103. Invisible says:

    Yeah I can’t understand how no one of you thought of photoshop before? I mean.. wtf?

  104. fahad majidi says:

    excellent piece of work..seriously i like the art

  105. kacj says:

    and this art means what? what is its purpose? its just some more of that tired 21st century spectacle

  106. bhabani says:

    awsome,incredible ,amazing,how they do it .

  107. aznfu says:

    im going to go with wire fu style rigs. China has a lot of those that are used in film making and i am sure there are professionals with enough experience to pull this off. wire are then edited out of course

  108. Goon2 says:

    To all you idiots that just blurt out “Photoshop”

    Look at the pictures more carefully and appreciate the complexity in doing so even if it were done using software.

    I put my thumbs up for the creative Chinese.

  109. wim says:

    I love the chinese Horatio on the third pic :-)

  110. Ashley says:

    The tree one is obviously two barbie dolls…look at the hands of the girl int he tree…and the shiny plastic looking legs on the guy…these are so fake! ugh

  111. Chinese are really a very amazing one I am very glad to seen this one it is really a very nice for this all photos are so nice.

  112. balas king says:

    you can actually find Li-Wei on youtube explaining how he did it. it’s a lot of careful planning, and yes, wires—not photoshopped.

  113. Richard says:

    Photoshop you morons! Yes, wires are Photoshoped!

  114. Great photoshop. Really for a moment I considered it as real stunts but some pic made me clear that those were photoshop. But nice try.

  115. tom the baii says:

    i ink tht is so much bangin its of its head into baiiz u get me baiiz comon baiiz lets go get hammered with the baiiz

  116. EXE PRIME says:

    Huh ez király, very cool

  117. enigma32 says:

    he forgot to photoshop his reflection in the water, shows him standing upright

  118. Melissa says:

    These are not photoshops. He uses wires and other steel contraptions to get the effect he wants. Do a Google on Li Wei and read it for yourself.

  119. The planning involved to get this right must be crazy! I’ve never seen Li Wei’s work until today so thanks for making me aware of his stuff. Even though he uses wires and other setups, I’m sure he must use Photoshop to clean things up…no?

  120. Dan says:

    nice, awesome looking stuff, and yeah Li Wei uses wire suspenders to make the effects.

  121. Nah says:

    Nah, its not Photoshop, but wires are probable.
    Just look at the second photo, they obviously know how to use angles and lenses to create optical illusions.

    If you didn’t already know, a high grade steel cable thinner than a pencil is enough to hold up an SUV. Imagine how thin it would be if you only needed to hold person. Plus Li Wei seem pretty good at ‘static’ poses.

  122. moko says:

    woow…bagus, kretif sekali..

  123. Abdulkadir ujub somalia says:

    its really somethig strange

  124. Collen Chitsunge says:


  125. Selma Ozi Cahtarevic says:

    umm hihihi?

  126. Donnie says:

    I made this site in Photoshop. I wrote your answer in Photoshop. I Photoshopped your mom. And your dad. I photoshopped you.

    None of you exist, I photoshopped every one of you.

    I know, because photoshop creations have no imagination, and haven’t the mental cognizance to understand that there are things out there that are not photoshopped.

    It’s great, you go up to one of the photoshop creations with an apple and eat it, slurping and crunching, and they scream “PHOTOSHOPPED THOSE NOISES ARE PHOTOSHOPPED!”

    Facebook? I made it. In Photoshop.

  127. saeed gujjar says:


  128. It’s called photoshop people…Its really cool though. They are very well done.

  129. Nouman Zakir says:

    Lol.. so funny and interesting. I wonder where do these guys get such wonderful ideas.

  130. jon says:

    compare in the 3rd pic his reflection with relative position of building reflected as well…that photoshop….geometrically the pic is off

  131. Mike says:

    In the picture with the guy kicking the other guy off the roof, you can see that the guy in the check shirt’s right arm and hand are being flexed hard. The guy is holding something tightly in his right hand, looks like a wire.

  132. miasaki says:

    It’s at times like this where I appreciate my culture’s vast knowledge in special effects. XD

    well done.

  133. i love the first one, it really does look like he is flying away.

  134. SAGI says:

    If you look closely you can see wood in the first one.

  135. ayele says:


  136. joyce says:

    photoshop or wire they are amazing, very creative

  137. JP says:

    AW look.. photoshop look at the picture in the building… at the pants the guy who is kicking is holding a wire.. look

  138. matt says:

    Look very closly at the man gettin kicked off the building, look at his fist and u will see a string attached to the other man, very clever

  139. marco says:

    Amazing pictures !
    haha i agree with donnie

  140. Paul K. says:

    You think he’s being held by a “string” off the top of that building? You probably think that’s a man with a really long arm in the 8th picture too. http://www.baronbob.com coupon code “lovebaron”
    gets you 15% off your entire order.

  141. Mike Metelnick says:

    It’s just Photoshop. If you look at the guy with the white shirt and blue shorts, he is in almost all of the photos. Many of them are the exact same picture of him, but just rotated or half-buried, or whatever. Duh.

  142. Prim says:


  143. Rahmat Shaheen says:

    i like it

    • crissely basa says:

      really it is very amazing i couldn’t imagine those people doing that stunts in reality.jejejej

  144. nerj says:

    These are all photoshoped picture, and a combination of acrobatic stunt with body harness of steel cable and dangling wires.

  145. jaganmangat says:

    very nice pictures……looks like these are edited by ps,but was interesting and enjoyed them……..!!!!

  146. Fro76 says:

    while there all clearly editted photos thats not the point. the photos are all a genius description of photographies degeneration into art. given the benefits of moder tech any photo can incoroprate such feats with time and effort and there would be no one who could possibly dispute it.

    moreover the photos generate an implicit desire from freedom; something we can all appreciate be it in china or the united states…

  147. alisam says:

    i like pictures it’s very amazing

  148. Martins says:

    Pictures are amazing, but pictures are made with computer help.

  149. hmm says:

    Way to completely miss the real point of these pictures, guy-who-over-analyzes and people-who-talk-about-photoshop… which is to just make you go “holy sh*t, that looks cool!”

  150. Freedom says:

    freedom from life, freedom from country , freedom from stress, freedom from social roles, freedom from gender restraints, freedom from labels

  151. amanda says:

    5th pic: THIS… IS… SPARTAAA!!!

  152. princ3 says:

    This not the optical illusion..

  153. boris says:

    amazing :)

  154. Marcus says:

    There appear to be a visible thread or some leftover after editing on the fifth picture, if you look at the kickers hand, you can see a small straight line. Something like a thread you’re fishing with.

    BUT photoshopped or not, I like them alot, and they are with no doubt professionally made.

  155. m.d.khan says:

    these all are very nice on time i enjoying this all

  156. San says:

    cool picture….. i like it

  157. Scott says:

    Agree with above…it’s not an “optical illusion” if you use photoshop, cables, etc…that’s called “a cool photo”. An optical illusion is one where the mind makes you THINK you’re seeing something that isn’t really there.


  158. That Guy says:

    I think it’s hilarious that all of your are pointing out that these are photoshopped! You really think you’re the first one to figure that out and you’re spreading your wisdom to the rest of us.

    That was the point! To make the shots look like this…of course they’re going to use Photoshop!


  159. Mary says:

    These are photoshopped? really? Aww, you guys have spoiled the secret for me.

  160. KERRY says:

    I want a framed one in my living room. Especially the basket ball one. Li Wei’s creativity shines with technology as a tool compared to the too common “Oh, that’s photoshopped.” Keep em’ coming.

  161. KERRY says:

    Watch out. Someone put an advertising link on the word “technology” in my blog after I clicked Submit Comment. I see that someone did that in Scott’s blog also. I don’t advocate any of the companies that are using my blog in the link, involuntarily,to promote themselves. Get your link the hell out of my blog.

  162. KERRY says:

    Now I see that the links have rotated to different blogs after I submitted the previous one. Now there’s one in That Guy’s and nerj’s blog. It’s rotating to different blogs every time I submit a comment. Moderator, please get rid of this abuse of advertising on people’s individual blogs.

  163. Jonny says:

    Medium of creativity does not bound art to any particular form. Great to see some fresh creativity coming along in a country that has spend the last 30 years looking for an identity. Way to go Li Wei!

  164. MozaiX says:

    Guys! i think these are photoshopped!! ;D

    amazing pics btw

  165. Where did he get idea to do those incredible things? He is great.

  166. cony says:

    o,my God,how to do it

  167. Ccrossed says:

    5th…Sparta Kick!!!

  168. Akofelaz says:

    On picture 5, notice the white alpha shade on his blue shorts where his back pocket is? Look closely!

  169. PingGuerero says:

    well apparently, the artist stated that no photoshop is used on those images. and i think i agree to that, just some photography skills. lol. it not always computer works.

    “Chinese artist Li Wei creates art that proves to be impossible. How does he do it, you ask? Performance art and photography is what creates these dangerous illusions. He also uses props such as metal wires, mirrors, scaffolding and acrobatics to help him with the effect.”

  170. Jessica says:

    Wow. Amazing especially since there’s no photoshop

  171. katikar says:

    its not edited, its physics trickery and clever angles, hence the optical illusion

  172. Valdeir Gomes says:

    No comments. Amazing

  173. cheyenne says:

    wow have u noticed its the same person doing those poses? is the li wei or whatever?? same white t gay blue shorts asian lookin person

  174. HAWK-EYE117 says:

    ok to those who talked about the beuty of the pics i agree with those ppl,for others who are wpndering how they did this, first they used wires then photoshop, but the wires are tiny, so you have to concentrate to see them.

  175. Zak says:

    This is pretty awesome.

  176. wong says:

    i rike it!

  177. Daniel Serhan says:

    Looks like that guy isn’t having a good day O_O

  178. i like the 5th photo very brave.

  179. u don't need to know my name! says:

    i totally agree with hmm

  180. Grace says:

    I can do pic #3 easy. You need a very, very, very stiff back!

  181. Ur mom says:


  182. MyTeacherThinksI'mRetarded says:

    Holyyy … !! That Is Awesome !!(:

  183. Really says:

    OH really you think these ps what was your first clue i really thought he was able to do all these naturally.. Atleast he’s actually doing something creative with photo editing rather than sitting in front of a comp for hours and coming up with something that is like everything else… oh wow check out this awesome meme with spaghetti arms…omg this is the funniest thing ever.

  184. cutsie says:


  185. steff says:

    is that woman for real holding a baby? love it thooo

  186. LaLaLoo says:


  187. andrew fields says:

    Amazing and cool photos, i really like it. I want to try it by myself and i want to check if we do have the same results. hehehe Thanks for this post keep it up.

  188. converse all star high says:

    creative idea, but also derived from real life

  189. steve says:

    dont he got anymore clothes…lol

  190. Dijonay says:

    Really cool, not to mention scary, illusions.

  191. cool froggy says:

    i think theres something wrong with my eyes but the last person on the last one looks like hes taking a picture on his fone

    i think ive had to much candy :$

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  193. me says:

    planking to the extreme

  194. Kirill says:

    some people on here are very annoying. we have google for a reason. there is NO computer editing at all. it’s cables, etc and good angles. the person in the photos is Li Wei. Yes this is creative! this is original and interesting!

  195. adrian hill says:

    This proves that you can change the laws of physics.All you have to do is try.

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