Born 1971 in Chengdu (Sichuan), Feng Li, a graduate of Chinese medicine, practices photography both as a civil servant for the provincial Department of Communication and as an independent. In fact, he constantly gravitates between official imagery and his personal work, which is at complete odds with the propaganda he’s crafting for a living. The photos of Feng Li are like a series of fortuitous encounters with an unlikely cast of reality. Since 2005, may he be photographing a sedative congress or moving freely into the weekend crowd, Feng Li constantly nourishes his single, unique and plethoric series White Night.
In the end of 2017, Feng Li’s works were exhibited for the first time in Paris, his book “White Night” published by Jiazazhi was selected in the Aperture x Photo Book Awards and he won the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award. He will be exhibiting in Les Rencontres d’Arles 2018.
Feng Li is the man of one series, White Night, which he has worked on for more than 10 years. All his talent, flair, and technique, are deployed in one and the same work, intimately tied to his daily life. If some practice photography as if it were like hunting, one can say that Feng Li practices it more like calligraphy or morning taichi. Like a sportsman or musician who repeats a movement 100 or 1000 times, Feng Li takes daily pictures in Chengdu. Skilled at shooting very intuitive street photos, he wanders the city, delicately capturing the city’s human fauna in all its incredible postures.
His photos tend to show chance encounters with an improbable cast of reality, its shopping streets, parks and restaurants. It seems that Feng Li is most at ease at close range rather than going on distant adventures, and it is almost in spite of himself that strange creatures find themselves stuck on his view finder. Feng Li has an eye only for the everyday and it is without effort that he discovers the most unusual scenes of the ordinary spectacle of life. Starlets in mini skirts, old ladies in fake fur, aimless street sleepers, a multicoloured parrot, he pins down unique characters who all, in their own ways, seem to play a part in the great fiction of ordinary life.
Watch the interview of Feng Li done by Photography Of China.
2018, Festival Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles.
2017, “LOOP—Photography and Video Experiments in Southwestern” A4 Chengdu
2017, “Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival” Xiamen
2017, “China Anren Biennale” Chengdu
2017, “40 Years of Chinese Contemporary Photography” Three Shadows Beijing
2016, “Nanjing International Art Festival” Nanjing
2016, “Snacks” Power Station of Art, Shanghai
2016, “This Future of Ours” Red Brick Art Museum,Beijing
2015, “Beijing International Photo Biennale” Beijing
2015, “Changjiang International Image Biennale”,Chongqing
2014, “10th Lianzhou Photo Festival”, Lianzhou
2013, “Multi-dimensional View III: Chengdu Contemporary Photography Exhibition” ,Chengdu
2012, “Jinan International Photo Biennale” , Jinan
“8th Lianzhou Lianzhou Photo Festival”, Lianzhou
2009, “Lianzhou International Photo Festival”, Lianzhou
“Multi-dimensional View I: Chengdu Contemporary Photography Exhibition”, Chengdu
2007, “Guangzhou Photo Biennale”, Guangzhou
2018, “Feng Li: White Night 2017”, A Thousand Plateaus, Chengdu
2017, “White Night” Galerie Oberkampf, Paris
2016, “White Night” Nanjing University of the Arts
2017, “Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival” awarded the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award
2014, Awarded 2014 Top 20 Emerging Chinese Contemporary Photographers and Chinese Contemporary Photography Rankings
2012, “Jinan International Photo Biennale” awarded the Best Photographer Prize, “8th Lianzhou Lianzhou Photo Festival” awarded the Grand Jury Prize