Lean Lui is a 19 year old self-taught photographer from Hong Kong. She sees photography as a way to build her own Utopia. Her works are sensitive, metaphoric, emotional and dreamy. Flow By Nature is Lean’s first solo exhibition. She acknowledges this exhibition as the starting point of her journey of self-discovery; as she said: “I am still learning and exploring”.
“The Chinese classic Tao Te Ching says, ‘For I am abstracted from the world, the world from nature, nature from the way, and the way from what is beneath abstraction’. The ‘nature’ here does not mean trees, flowers or the sea, it is about inaction. That is why I have been exploring the relationship between humans and nature. The more I explore, the more similarities I unearth. What strikes me most is the liveliness of nature.
I believe that humans and nature share the same destiny. A lot of people have the feeling that elements like water and light will disappear in a flash, but this flash is a relative notion, based on different perceptions. Everything in the world is correlated and inter-connected.
The leading sentence of Tao Te Ching is ‘They are the greatest of all, and man is one of the four’. It means neither man nor nature is superior to the other.
We cannot control the time of the sunrise and sunset, like we cannot control the circle of life. It is a natural pattern. When it comes to humans, we tend to romanticize a lot of things and fill them with stories. For me, however, all elements primarily are the same.
There is an ancient Japanese saying, ‘The best flower is the cherry blossom, the best individual is the Samurai’. I am deeply affected by this Japanese aesthetic; rather short glamour over long-lived ugliness. The Japanese love Sakura, a flower species which has a one-week life span. After that week, Sakura will wither. Japanese see this moment of wither as the ultimate beauty. I think the blossom period of people is short, especially for women – but it doesn’t matter as long as we can present our most flamboyant gestures. That is much better than a long-lived bleak life. These concepts apply throughout the series as a whole.”
See more of Lean’s work at:
All images copyright Lean Lui.