Have you at any point wished you were part of Andy Warhol’s Factory studio inner circle? Or on the other hand maybe you can imagine being closest friends with Audrey Hepburn? If so, you’re not the only one—Chinese photographer Silin Liu (otherwise known as Celine Liu) rewrites history by Photoshopping herself into some of the world’s most ionic images. For her series, I’m Everywhere, Liu goes through time, placing herself alongside history’s well known faces and influential cultural moments. From celebrating with Princess Diana to protesting alongside Martin Luther King, Liu carefully makes her own version of the reality.
Liu first began her I’m Everywhere series in 2002 as a way to explore the role of photography in the era of cultural globalization, the glorification of icons, and how images are used to visually tell stories from history. She often spends weeks on each image, from sourcing the perfect photo to then using her Photoshop skills to digitally place her charismatic alter ego, Céline, into the setting. She’s seen light painting with Pablo Picasso, at an award show with Grace Kelly, and she’s even Photoshopped herself in the car next to the Kennedys on the day of the late president‘s assassination.
“Every time we take a photograph and share it, it is like a ritual or ceremony,” says Liu in her artist statement. “We are lost in this irrational worship, meanwhile emitting an entirely new version of ourselves, or, say we are releasing our pent-up selves; such a process expels the fear and helplessness of the environment, and the original but disordered environment maybe also gives us the freedom and opportunity to reselect our fate.”