Do you see what he sees? Enle Li’s animations show how subjective our experience of nature really is

In commissions for the likes of Apple, Figma and Google, the New-York based animator maintains his sentimental and emotive view of the outdoors.

24 April 2024


In the work of artist-animator Enle Li, we aren’t only immersed in the picturesque view of the outdoors, we are invited to see what one looks like while gazing at it. The moon sways between tree branches as the viewer moves and the sun lays its silhouette on the face of an awestruck onlooker; the relationship between human and nature is a perpetual give and take. And just when you think you’ve figured out the rhythm, Enle shows just what our imposing perspective can do. In Incremental Loading, a commissioned artwork for Figma, Enle depicts a tree as a pixelated graphic steadily loading; the work represents the improved features of the interface design application, it also sits in his oeuvre of nature being ever-changing based on our interpretation of it.

Enle Li was born in China and later moved to New York City to study graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. During his final year, he found a calling toward “intricate storytelling” and “emotive resonance”, he tells us. “I’m inspired by the boundaries between rational and irrational perceptions of the world around us”, which has created a body of work that is both surreal and humbling, because it deals with the fact that there is no objective view of what’s around us, we always come with preconceived notions and ideals. Combining animation and visual storytelling, he has created a visual language that spans commissions for the likes of Google, Apple, The Atlantic and Adobe, with each expanding his style and representations of the human perspective. So stop and look for a while, you may just catch a glimpse of how you see nature.


Enle Li: Eyes (Copyright © Enle Li, 2022)


Enle Li: Harmaony Lab Data (Copyright © Enle Li, 2023)


Enle Li: Harmaony Lab Hero (Copyright © Enle Li, 2023)


Enle Li: Imitation (Copyright © Enle Li, 2022)


Enle Li: Incremental Loading Figma (Copyright © Enle Li, 2023)


Enle Li: Moon Tree (Copyright © Enle Li, 2022)


Enle Li: Mystic Sphere (Copyright © Enle Li, 2023)


Enle Li: The Collector (Copyright © Enle Li, 2021)


Enle Li: The-Run (Copyright © Enle Li, 2022)

Hero Header

Enle Li: Synchrony (Copyright © Enle Li, 2023)

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About the Author

Yaya Azariah Clarke

Yaya (they/them) joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in June 2023 and became a staff writer in November of the same year. With a particular interest in Black visual culture, they have previously written for publications such as WePresent, alongside work as a researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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