Chinese artist Li Wei’s Optical Illusions


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.

  • Anonymous

    WOW! 1st?

  • FaLcoN

    2nd … lol

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Luis Pachón

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

  • K

    Pretty cool
    He has really short pants no?

  • Anonymous

    wow. Wonder how they’re done?

  • Isaiah Alvarez

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    stop caring about being 1st or 2nd

  • Anonymous


    (3rd lolage)

  • Anonymous


    Lol, hes weird

  • Anonymous

    Lots of painstaking photoshop?

  • FrankiiDoodle

    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.

  • Ryan

    Followed by 3rd =P

    Weird illusions

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    absolutely amazing!!!:O

  • Anonymous

    5th is amazing

  • Anonymous

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

  • Amina

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

  • Dan

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

  • Andrei

    can I do that?

  • Anonymous

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

  • Harry

    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.

  • Anonymous

    HOW?? HOW??!!

  • Ken


  • Anonymous

    He is amazing w/PHOTOSHOP

  • Griff496

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

  • Anonymous

    … 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

  • Anonymous

    third lol

  • Anonymous

    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?

  • Anonymous

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

  • MrPZS

    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


  • BraDRoBBo

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

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

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


  • Anonymous


  • Goeny

    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)

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Marcos de la Peña

    computers can do so many things…

  • Anonymous

    with photoshop you can do wonders!

  • Stephen

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

  • uvalntine


  • Wile di Rova

    Greats photos!

  • Terra

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

  • Hombreverde


  • Emzi

    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.

  • Anonymous

    mind boggling

  • Anonymous

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

  • great snowman

    wires and lots of them

  • Anonymous

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

  • Bubblegum423

    Wow! Amazing!

  • pAoLo

    Great lol!

  • Anonymous

    way coool and far out amazing keep it up

  • Anonymous

    i want to know how do they do that?o_0

  • a05aafzul

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

  • Zerav

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

  • Michel Carlini

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

  • ME!

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Dagger



    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..

  • Anonymous

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

  • Lorenzo

    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.

  • vbarata

    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.

  • Anonymous

    Nice work… good shots of Hong Kong.

  • Joel


  • Anonymous

    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

  • Anonymous

    THIRD!!! Yas finally i got third.

  • Ellie

    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!

  • Pikle

    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…

  • Anonymous

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

  • Cecilia

    But… ho..oo…w.w..w…..XP

  • Jet Li

    nothing special with those pictures.

    all of stupid comments !

  • Anonymous

    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 or his website here

  • Ryan

    Pretty neat!

  • Jimbo

    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.

  • Yargh

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

  • ellie

    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

  • Dude

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

  • ha ha ha!

  • Anonymous

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

  • heyheyhey


  • shamaila

    great effort

  • someone

    ok! haha

  • marko

    cool bat hi makes does pictures fake

  • luka

    im so happy you dont have to sing in to comment

  • luka

    fale but cool

  • luka

    hahaha 1.fake 3.funny

  • luka

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

  • luka


  • Chi

    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.

  • nobody

    i like the kicking off the roof one

  • you do not wanna now

    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

  • FFuk

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

  • Ooooh, performance art! Neat!

  • -.-

    second to last was photoshopped

  • Photoshop… but really well done!

  • gabriel

    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.

  • Very good tricks.

  • nice use of wires :D

  • Nasir Yaqoob

    I like very much its very good

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

  • wise

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

  • so crazy

  • ender42

    :) I like the basketball one. Very creative.

  • Dmeetei

    It is really brave !!!!!!

  • Dmeetei


  • ronny

    Not really optical illusions, but photoshop.

  • Invisible

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

  • excellent piece of work..seriously i like the art

  • kacj

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

  • bhabani

    awsome,incredible ,amazing,how they do it .

  • aznfu

    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

  • Goon2

    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.

  • wim

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

  • Ashley

    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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Richard

    Photoshop you morons! Yes, wires are Photoshoped!

  • 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.

  • Taurus
  • tom the baii

    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

  • vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


    Huh ez király, very cool

  • enigma32

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

  • Melissa

    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.

  • 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?

  • some looks real

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

  • Nah

    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.

  • moko

    woow…bagus, kretif sekali..

  • Abdulkadir ujub somalia

    its really somethig strange

  • Collen Chitsunge


  • Selma Ozi Cahtarevic

    umm hihihi?

  • 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.

  • saeed gujjar


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

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

  • jon

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

  • Mike

    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.

  • miasaki

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

    well done.

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

  • SAGI

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

  • ayele


  • joyce

    photoshop or wire they are amazing, very creative

  • JP

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

  • matt

    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

  • marco

    Amazing pictures !
    haha i agree with donnie

  • 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. coupon code “lovebaron”
    gets you 15% off your entire order.

  • Mike Metelnick

    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.

  • Prim


  • Rahmat Shaheen

    i like it

    • crissely basa

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

  • nyce……….

  • nerj

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

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

  • 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…

  • i like pictures it’s very amazing

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

  • hmm

    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!”

  • Freedom

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

    • galaxel

      Couldn’t agree more, that is the original starting point of this photographer, I think

  • amanda

    5th pic: THIS… IS… SPARTAAA!!!

  • princ3

    This not the optical illusion..

  • WOW!!!!
    amazing :)

  • Marcus

    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.

  • yeah!!!!

  • m.d.khan

    these all are very nice on time i enjoying this all

  • San

    cool picture….. i like it

  • Scott

    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.


  • That Guy

    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!


  • Mary

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


    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.


    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.


    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.

  • Jonny

    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!

  • MozaiX

    Guys! i think these are photoshopped!! ;D

    amazing pics btw

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

  • o,my God,how to do it

  • a person


  • Ccrossed

    5th…Sparta Kick!!!

  • Akofelaz

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

  • PingGuerero

    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.”

  • Jessica

    Wow. Amazing especially since there’s no photoshop

  • katikar

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

  • Valdeir Gomes

    No comments. Amazing

  • cheyenne

    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

  • kewlness lol c[=

  • HAWK-EYE117

    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.

  • This is pretty awesome.

  • wong

    i rike it!

  • Daniel Serhan

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

  • i like the 5th photo very brave.

  • u don’t need to know my name!

    i totally agree with hmm

  • Grace

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


  • MyTeacherThinksI’mRetarded

    Holyyy … !! That Is Awesome !!(:

  • Really

    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.

  • cutsie


  • steff

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

  • LaLaLoo


  • andrew fields

    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.

  • converse all star high

    creative idea, but also derived from real life

  • steve

    dont he got anymore clothes…lol

  • Dijonay

    Really cool, not to mention scary, illusions.

  • cool froggy

    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 :$

  • Cheap RayBan Aviator

    One thing I have actually noticed is there are plenty of misguided beliefs regarding the financial institutions intentions while talking about foreclosure. One fairy tale in particular is that often the bank wishes to have your house. The financial institution wants your hard earned cash, not the house. They want the bucks they loaned you together with interest. Averting the bank will only draw a new foreclosed realization. Thanks for your publication.

  • me

    planking to the extreme

  • Kirill

    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!

  • adrian hill

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

  • ohooooooooooo………..really like danger

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