He's Li Wei and, for the past decade, he's been giving the world an eyeful via a portfolio of pictures that show him doing everything from falling out of a window to doing a handstand on a giant fork to holding a bridal veil while seeming to fly in midair.
In the process, he's won popular acclaim from both the general public -- who are tripped out by the audacious and bizarre photos -- and serious critics, including New York-based arts writer Jeffrey Sussman, who currently is writing a book about Wei.
"His work is highly imaginative, containing vivid dream-like images that provoke anxiety or are caused by anxiety," Sussman told AOL News. "There is also a humorous, whimsical quality to his work that is reminiscent of paintings by seminal Dadaists and Surrealists such as Man Ray and Salvador Dali."
Wei didn't start out to be a photographer. Initially, he was a performance artist simply wanting to document his performances.
"When I started doing this, it was 2000, I only used photography to record the procedure of my performance art," Wei told AOL News via an email interview. "Then, after the 'Li Wei falls into ... ' series, I found this way of shooting as my signal."
Since then, Wei has done more than 150 shots, and has risked life and limb in situations that are, shall we say, precarious.
"I often shoot in dangerous situations," he admitted. "For example, high buildings, lakes, ice holes, even a car. I think the picture itself is not difficult. I have my own photographer who has cooperated with me for 10 years or so. What is difficult is the dangerous situation."
Of course, when you pose for pictures while standing on piles of floating leaves or zooming to the ground holding a giant bullet, there is always an injury risk and Wei admits he has hurt himself.
"Luckily, not seriously," he added.
Amazingly, Wei makes his shots look the way they do without using Photoshop or even a scaffold.
"I use wires at my back and I wear special costumes so that the wires can match," he said. "But no scaffolding, just a simple stand to lift myself high."
Although only an hour or two is needed for each shot, the prep time is much longer.
Wei said it can take many months from the time he conceives a photo before he's able to make it a reality.
Amazingly, he claims he hasn't had any problem convincing friends, other artists or even his own kids to go along with his bizarre ideas.
"No, (I haven't had any problems)," he said. "My models are my friends. If I need groups of them, for example, if I'm shooting an advertisement, I'll ask a company for help. My daughter is also my model."
Although Wei's work is certainly unique, there is actually a precedent for his craft, according to Neil Kendricks, a San Diego-based artist and filmmaker who is also a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
"Wei fits into this tradition of artists documenting their performances," Kendricks said. "It seems to be important that it is him in the picture.
"However, I can see where people might misinterpret his works as self-portraits, but it's more like he's using his own body as a prop."
Kendricks also said Wei is part of a new vanguard of Asian artists who emphasize cityscapes in their works.
"In fact, there may be something culturally specific to Asia about this choice that other audiences are missing," he said.
Sussman concurred, suggesting it's due to the rampant changes happening in China.
Meanwhile, Thomas Carabasi, who heads the photography and digital imaging department at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., said the photos are, like all great art, able to hold up to a variety of interpretations.
"He is a very playful image-maker who ends up delivering a poignant message."
Wei is moot about whether he agrees with this assessment, but does admit to having broad goals with where he wants his art to go.
"My goal is to make everything impossible possible," he said. "I hope one day I can shoot on the moon with a rocket."
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