A good photograph consists of many different elements to create something impressive and unique. Chinese artist Hu Weiyi does this by electrically charging fresh flowers and hitting that click!
at the perfect time. To create these glorious pictures, Hu uses high-voltage capacitors to create electrical currents that run through the blooms. Beautiful but dangerous, Hu shows us the power of electricity in a way not seen before.
Electrically Charged Flowers that Will Blow You Away
Hu Weiyi was born in Shanghai, China, in 1990. He graduated from the China Academy of Art with a BA from the Department of Public Art in 2013, concluding his studies with an MA in the Media department. A multimedia artist and curator, Hu Weiyi’s work is influenced by social ethnography, theatrical elements, and experimentation in film. The concept for this photo series came to life after he became inspired by one of his previous projects, called Flirt, which introduced cold light to various objects to manipulate viewers' perception without using digital software.
All image credits: Hu Weiyi
Finding the Right Amount of Electrical Flow
Hu studied everything about electricity for a year in preparation for this project. In order to make his photo series successful, he learned about the high-voltage arc before beginning with the construction of the high-voltage capacitors that are capable of going through the air. He worked with a variety of technicians to test out different types of electric discharge devices in order to find one that exerts the right amount of electrical flow that could be captured with his camera. Hu Weiyi used dozens of flowers and had to take an abundance of photographs in order to find all the right settings so he could create his final collection, called The Tentacles Project.
A Stunning Display of Contrasts
Hu was focused on every small detail for his project and the photos speak volumes about the effort that went behind achieving this. His work illustrates the aesthetic beauty and diversity of physical forms and displays the contrasting qualities of the two components - electric rays and flowers - in a unique and magnificent way. Where electric rays are intensively strong, flowers are the epitome of elegance and mildness.
“The moment of discharge is wonderful and sexy, but it can also be a cold-blooded tool for torture and execution,” he explains. Hu’s combination of materials illustrates the impermanence of natural plant matter, much like the fragile nature of the human body when exposed to lightning. “The flowers in full bloom remind me of my own fragility and powerlessness,” says Hu.
You can see more of Hu’s photographs on A+ Contemporary’s website.