Liu Bolin: The invisible man

Liu Bolin

Beijing-based artist Liu Bolin silently comments on modern sociopolitical conditions by disappearing into his art.

Why you should listen to him:

Artist Liu Bolin began his “Hiding in the City” series in 2005, after Chinese police destroyed Suo Jia Cun, the Beijing artists’ village in which he’d been working, because the government did not want artists working and living together. With the help of assistants, he painstakingly painted his clothes, face, and hair to blend into the background of a demolished studio.

Since then, the so-called “Invisible Man” has photographed himself fading into a variety of backgrounds all over Beijing. Spot him embedded in a Cultural Revolution slogan painted on a wall, or spy him within tiers of supermarket shelves stocked with soft drinks. Just as with Bolin himself, the contradictions and confusing narratives of China’s post-Cultural Revolution society are often hiding in plain sight.

“Bolin’s work is part of a growing movement of conceptual art from China, much of which reflects social and economic change.”

The Independent, 1/31/11

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