Life is beautiful — not because we’re all the same, but because of our unique differences. Celebrate life. Celebrate diversity.
“Life Celebrates Diversity” is an ongoing photography project where I photograph everyday objects that are similar to each other, yet because of their unique differences, ultimately demonstrate that the beauty of life lies in the existence of our differences.
When I first started the project in 2009, I mostly took photos of things found in nature. In 2012, I started including things that are man made — to show the same concept with more variety.
This is an ongoing project that I plan to extend further. At the moment, I don’t feel that it’s working well because a lot of people who saw the photos didn’t really understand my intentions. I’m planning to change a few things about it this year, including some type of project extensions that might make it better.
If you can think of anything to help me improve this concept further, please do reach out. I’d love to make it better so that my intentions will be more universally understood without having to slap an artist statement next to them.
I’m most reachable in the following places:
This is my favorite photo of the series. It was shot at the Farmers Market in New York. I love plums as a fruit, but there are some hidden metaphors here as well.
My family name, 李 Lee (Mandarin Li), if not used as a surname, has the literal meaning of being a plum. Symbolically, the character 李 is made up with two characters:
So if you think deeply about this photo, it’s a metaphoric portrait of my family. It’s a self portrait expressed as a visual metaphor
See Purpose of Life.
The name of the project comes from a manifesto about life — which I wrote on 2007-07-07. I wrote it rather structurally, following the mathematical order of 3-7-3, like music, but also mathematically beautiful. I put the words in alphabetical sequence to give it the flow. I don’t know what to call it except that I like how it reads. A friend who is a published poet call is a manifesto. And so it is also known as the “Life Manifesto”.
Life celebrates diversity.
Life celebrates differences.
Life celebrates humanity.
Regardless of age, attire, or build.
Regardless of class, color, or culture.
Regardless of education, flavor, or gender.
Regardless of hair style, income level, or interest.
Regardless of life style, location, or philosophy.
Regardless of profession, physique, or race.
Regardless of religion, role, or sexual taste.
Life is equilibriumism.
Life is everything and nothing.
Life is all of us and none of us.
— See-ming Lee, 2007-07-07
The version that I posted on the web so many years ago was made in yellow. I used yellow because Yellow is the color for Technology and Magic in the SML Brands. Someone uploaded it to Wikimedia Commons so now if they keep on backing it up, it would be part of history forever.