Each point of a lens and click of a shutter presses pause on a moment in time. Whether it’s a first step, a majestic view that enchants the soul or the dazzling smile of a loved one, these images capture the little stories of each day. And even if you are one to shy away from the camera, it’s likely that you are always grateful for the photographs in your possession that remind you of moments from long ago.
Self-taught photographer Li Hui creates raw and intimate portraits that, when viewed together, offer a glimpse into Li’s personal world and the people and things she cares for. Only using silver 35-mm film, Li preserves simple moments of beauty, with each photograph emanating a quietness that is both relaxing and powerful. Li credits keeping a childish heart and a wild and mysterious mindset as the driving force behind each of her mystical snapshots. A sincerity in the images is brought about by the trust between photographer and model – the model’s face is never shown so that the image can speak directly to the viewer, holding up a mirror and tapping into common feelings, secrets, memories and dreams.
Picking up a camera for the first time in 2008, Li began focusing on photography seriously the following year while on a trip to Berlin. What started as a task for keeping busy has translated into a medium for self-expression, using double exposures, light leaks and dreamy depth of field to project a surreal look into an intimate habitat. She approaches each photograph by imagining what things could look like and, as her images aren’t edited, she must carefully construct each shot before pressing the shutter and searing her dreams onto film.