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Li I (1974) by H.R. Giger is one of the best known paintings by the artist. The work is quite typical for Giger. It depicts the face of a female character with biomechanical-looking appendages growing out of her head. On the background there is something that resembles a large group of ball-shaped creatures.

The image is quite darkly coloured and heavily contrasted. The bright face stands out from the darker appendages and the pitch black background. A nearly white snake on the forehead stands out as even brighter.

Powerful elements in the image include partial symmetry and strong horizontal alignment. The strongest lines are the horizon and the uppermost line that is aligned with the top of the head and the arch of the horns. The basic features of the image are symmetrical, although details vary quite much on either side.

Additionally there are two diagonal lines aligned with the cheeks dividing the image into three sections. The middle section contains the face and is noticeably brighter than the two outermost sections.

In a Gigerian way the image is dark, intimidating, frightening and at the same time fascinating. It resembles (for obvious reason) designs from the movie Alien and, more distantly, the Cenobites, the demono-mechanic creatures from the Hellraiser series.

On more interesting detail about image composition is that certain central elements - the horizon, the uppermost horizontal line, the diagonal line and an appendage that points upwards from the head - resemble the Chinese pictograph "", which means "to stand". I couldn't find a verification whether this was deliberate or simply a coincidence.

An adapted translation of an analysis I wrote for school, courtesy of the node your homework movement.

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