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Photography (MA)

Lei Xu


Lei XU was born in Tianjin, China. As an artist based in London, Lei focuses on exploring the essence of technology and the ways in which it affects reality and human existence. He is also interested in technical-image-related topics. His work involves various types of images and installations. With a BA in cinema, he likes to output his work in both dynamic and static formats. Through his artworks, Lei wants to explore and expose a new type of dialogue that makes humans return to focus on themselves and reawaken from this alienated world.

god, AI-generated
typology, from a star map
closeup of an oscilloscope, bridge

Enframing is a research project on the essence of technology and the question of authenticity it brings. Lei demonstrates the closed-loop logic of technology that gives people the expectation that "it will lead somewhere". However, he argues that people must be wary of this logic. He used Midjourney to generate an image of God and put it above the oscilloscope. Meanwhile, Lei has created two videos of the installation, one transmitted directly from a camera to a screen and the other a recording of the video on the first screen. The latter is a simulation of the simulation of installation, as a way of demonstrating the problems of authenticity posed by the technology. Moreover, according to Baudrillard, "the conquest of space that follows that of the planet is equal to de-realising (dematerialising) human space, or to transferring it into a hyperreal of simulation." Nowadays, the conquest of space has moved beyond human space and into the universe. Star maps are clear proof of this. The reflections left by the telescope lenses on the star maps as they take photos are a reminder that the influence of technology on reality has spread to the universe, attempting to incorporate the entire universe into the hyperreal of simulation. "The universe, and all of us, have entered live into simulation, into the malefic, not even malefic, indifferent, sphere of deterrence: in a bizarre fashion, nihilism has been entirely realised no longer through destruction, but through simulation and deterrence." In a sense, simulation has become the new God. Yet reflection and questioning remain the means of active confrontation with it and the nihilism it brings. 

Images are everywhere and the impact of technology is everywhere. Where the bridge of technology will take us in the future I am not sure. However, I am sure that staying alert and continuing to reflect is what will keep us from getting lost along the way.


Oscilloscope, CCTV camera, live streaming camera, screens, AI-generated God image with a 7x5 golden frame, images from star maps
installation shot of an oscilloscope
installation shot of an oscilloscope
closeup of an oscilloscope screen


Oscilloscope, wired CCTV camera, Venus sculpture, BNC cables, foam


a dark room with light in the centre of it
installation view of what is inside me


Inkjet print