The spectacle of today’s China, a vast and surreal construction site where a hypertrophied
version of modernity is being played every day both in cities and in the countryside, indeed
offers an inexhaustible material for a prowler like Feng Li. Once assigned to cover a lighting
festival in a deserted suburb of Chengdu, Feng Li was struck by the spooky atmosphere of
giant shining structures displayed in the mist and decided to label his entire work as « White
Night ». In fact, in China, nights are not completely black, LED lights sparkle, karaokes blink
while the lights of the building sites persist until dawn enveloping everything in a
permanent twilight. In this intermediate dimension, unusual characters abound and it is
this spectral universe that Feng Li captures in the twilight with the hot white of his flash.
The photos of Feng Li are like a series of fortuitous encounters with an unlikely cast of
reality. This is the reality of Chengdu, with its shopping streets, parks and restaurants.
Indeed, it is in this proximity rather than in the otherness of distant journeys that Feng Li
feels at ease. The « decisive moment» hardly worries him and it is almost in spite of this
that a strange fauna comes to stick to his lens like insects attracted by the glow of a car’s
headlight. Feng Li only focuses on everyday life and effortlessly reveals the most unusual
scenes of the great spectacle of the everyday. Starlets in miniskirts, old ladies in faux fur,
wandering homeless people and colorful parrots, Feng Li pines up singular characters who
in their own way play a role in the great fiction of ordinary life. 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".
Artists: Feng Li