Li Jie

Li Jie's "At Sea" series was shot over the course of eight trips to the eastern coast of Malaysia from 2009 to 2012. In contrast to Li's previous, strongly narrative work, his "At Sea" photographs are calm, expansive, and somewhat cold, reflecting his inner world. "In depicting the ocean, there are no terrifying waves; there are only the rhythms of a simple life. The sheer ordinariness warms your heart." The carefree lives of the children in the photographs and the spontaneity of the scenes serve as metaphors for Li Jie's own desires. After Li's decades of experience in documentary photography, these spacious photos were necessary, allowing both photographer and viewer the chance to breathe, consider the world anew, and reflect on the vastness of the ocean.

At Sea


Year:  2012
Medium:  Inkjet print
Dimensions:  (1) 54 × 36 cm (2) 90 × 60 cm
Edition:  (1) 6 (2) 3



Artist's Bio

Li Jie (b. 1956, Changshou, Chongqing, China)

Li is currently a freelance photographer.

Solo Exhibitions:
1993 "Sichuan People," Cologne, Germany
1998 "Fairy Tales in Winter," Orchard Road Gallery, Singapore
2008 "The Yi People in Butuo," Sichuan University Art Museum, Chengdu, China
2009 "Ordinary Life from Three Asian Villages in a Globalizing World," No. 39 Art Space, Beijing, China
2013 "When a Play is Not a Play," Lianzhou Foto 2013, Lianzhou, China
2013 "At Sea," Inter Art Center / Gallery, Beijing, China
2014 "At Sea," Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, Xishuangbanna, China

Group Exhibitions:
1987 "Black and White Photographs by Five Sichuanese Photographers," Chengdu, China
2006 "Vicissitudes of Butuo," China Photography Festival, Duyun, China
2006 "Vicissitudes of Butuo," Lianzhou Foto 2006, Lianzhou, China
2006 "Fifty Years: Photography in China (1949-2006)," Ming Dynasty Wall, Beijing, China
2007 "Grassroots Humanism: A Contemporary Art Exhibition," Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2007 "The Other Shore: An Exhibition of Twelve Chinese Photographers," Atlanta International Photography Festival, Atlanta, USA
2007 "Chinese Photography," Guanfu Museum, Beijing, China
2008 "Eyes on China," Sapporo Conference Hall, Sapporo, Japan
2009 "Sha-Fei Photography Award Exhibition," Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangdong, China
2011 "Image Talks: A Collective Exhibition from Five Artists," Lishui Photography Festival, Lishui, China
2011 "The Desire of the Prickly Ash," National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2011 "Khmer People: The Inaugural Arts and Culture Festival of the Lancang-Mekong River Basin Countries," Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, Xishuangbanna, China
2012 "At Sea," OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China
2013 "Voice of the Unseen," Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Selected Publications:
1990 Published The Sun of Kangba
1992 Published Local Customs in Western Sichuan
1998 Published Fairy Tales in Winter
2001 Published Face Painting in Sichuan Oper
2003 Published Jiuzhaigou: A Fantastic Dreamland
2005 Published Ghost 99
2006 Published The Vicissitudes of Butuo
2009 Published Butuo, Chung Khneas, Manohara
2013 Published At Sea