Lihui Liang is a Chinese artist and film director who is currently working on an intriguing series of portraits titled Animal Religion. As part of the series, Liang depicts the subjects as their spirit animals.
Before she even starts painting the portrait, Liang has an extensive interview with the subject. She tries to understand their personalities, dreams, hopes, interests, and more. Only then she decides on a fitting spirit animal and how to show her in its full glory.
According to the artist, people absolutely love the results of her works because they feel more personal than the usual portraits.
“It’s a collaborative experience that is created together,” she shared in a recent interview with Creative Boom. “I tried to capture their inner essence rather than merely their physical appearance. Some of them use my pictures for their profile pictures, and one asked me to print on a T-shirt.”
Liang graduated from San Francisco’s California College of the Arts but is currently living in London, where she creates most of her art. The artist describes her style as “counter-realism,” explaining it as a “bridge between the real and the surreal.”
Continue scrolling to check out more of Liang’s intriguing works below.