Liu Bolin – The Invisible Artist
Liu Bolin, a young Beijing-based artist, has become known as the “invisible man” due to his ability to use his own body as an art material. The chameleon paints on himself, appearing to blend in with the backdrop.
Liu Bolin, was born in Shandong in 1973, graduated from the Art Department of Shandong Arts Institute with a bachelor degree in 1995, and in the year of 2001, he graduated from the Sculpture department of Central Academy of Fine Arts with a master degree.
Liu Bolin’s main areas in sculpture, photography, painting, etc. when he is a student, he have had many Exhibitions for his own works before the idea of camouflage art.
Until in the year of 2005, Mr Liu decided to do some works to protest against the government, who shut down his art studio.
In 2008, a series works named “hiding in the city” shocked the world. Inspired by how some animals can blend into their environment, Liu Bolin uses camouflage principles to create amazing contemporary art.
This series is an exploration of human nature and animal instincts which features Chinese citizens painted to blend into their surroundings. The subjects are covered head to toe in paint, camouflaging themselves in any surroundings, no matter how difficult they might be. Liu works on a single photo for up to 10 hours at a time, to make sure he gets it just right, but he achieves the right effect.
The procedures of these photos:
- Put on a set of training uniform of 50 yuan, bare skin covered with sticky female mask;
- Choose a representative environment;
- Standing at the right place motionless, so that assistants paint patterns what are matching the environment in his body;
- Take photos.
No trick photography or Photoshop is used to create the illusion of an invisible man.
These awesome shots show him barely visible among his surroundings, including bulldozers, flags, buildings and signs. A perfectionist, Bolin often works on a single photograph for hours, shocking many passers-by when he finally moves.
Bolin said his inspiration came from feeling like a social outcast: People In the community cannot find suitable position, without social relations, and no one care for your fate, in a period of time feel like they are redundant people; they are invisible to the society. Mr Liu says his work is also a protest against the government, who shut down his art studio in 2005.
“Some people call me the invisible man, but for me it’s what is not seen in a picture which is really what tells the story,” Mr Bolin told the UK’s Telegraph. “I experienced the dark side of society, without social relations, and had a feeling that no one cared about me, I felt myself unnecessary in this world. These photographs are a kind of silent power, in the photo where he was standing, but there is a silent protest, the struggle for survival of the environment and for the fate.
Now he came to Chengdu, he said he would like to create new works, to express condolences to the earthquake victims before the ruins of the earthquake.
In fact, Liu Bolin is also a sculptor, he also have good achievement in that area.
“Red Hand”, that is a series started in July 2007 from the creation of sculpture, by the enthusiastic response to the Western market, Liu Bolin is famous. In the Works, some red or white boy with his eyes covered. Liu Bolin use Chromic and smooth material, in a positive posture.
In the photos, man become invisible, in the red hands, have become blind. Liu Bolin creates a vivid looks like an interesting world, but in fact it is not so gentle, it reflects a generation after the Cultural Revolution, he himself being one of them. Liu Bolin thinks that he is more realistic rather than an idealistic artist, able to visualize the emotional confusion.
2008 “Hide and Seek” (solo), Boxart Gallery, Verona, Italy
2008 “Being”Contemporary art Exhibition, Jinan, Shandong province, China
2008 Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Liverpool, Great Britain
2008 “Force-Form” International Comtemporary Art Exhibition, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China
2008 The Converted-Image Dax Art Space, Beijing, China
2008 Roma International Contemporary and Modern art Center of international Exhibition, Roma, Italy
2008 International Art Exhibition Sunshine Museum, Songzhuang Art Zone, Beijing, China
2008 Bertin–Toublanc Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
2008 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China (solo)
2008 Bridge Art Center, Beijing, China (solo)
2008 Adler Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
2008 Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China (solo)
2008 Eli Klein Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2007 Bertin–Toublanc Gallery, Miami, USA (solo)
2007 Sculpture Exhibition, Hotsun Art Space, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China (solo)
2007 ‘Distortion’ Exhibition, Hotsun Art Space, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China (solo)
2007 Photo Exhibition, Bertin-Toublanc Gallery Paeis, France (solo)
2007 Modern China: Lost in Transition, Eli Klein Gallery, New York, USA
2007 Computer Men Art Exhibition, Seasons Gallery, Beijing, China
2007 “Far Away From City” Photography Group Exhibition, Ifa Contemporary Art Center, Shanghai, China
2007 Song Zhuang Art Festival-2007 Chinese Visual Files, Songzhuang Art Zone, China
2007 Cooperation-Group Exhibition of Chinese and Chile Artists, No.1 Art Base Beijing, China
2007 Made in Beijing–Chinese Contemporary Art, Korea
2007 Olympic Sculptures International Exhibition, Millennium Monument, Beijing, China
2007 “Memory” Contemporary Art Exhibition, New York Art Center,798 Art Zone Beijing, China
2007 Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, New Gallery, Houston, USA
2007 ARLES International Photo Exhibition, Arles, France
2007 United Exhibition of Communities at the foot of the Great Wall, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China
2007 Made in China–Chinese Contemporary Art, Duolun Museum of Modem Art, Shanghai, China
2007 “Union” Exhibition of Chinese and Overseas Artists, No.1 Art Base, Beijing, China
2007 “Union in June” Chinese Performance Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Zone, Beijing, China
2007 “China Dream” Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Adler Gallery, Paris, France
2007 “Back” United Exhibition of Three Artist, Hotsun Art Space, Beijing, China
2007 “After…”Contemporary Art Exhibition, New Art Project 798 Art Zone Beijing, China
2007 China Modern Art Exhibition, Mediterranea Gallery, Palemo, Italy
2007 Resetting—Suo Jia Village Contemporary Art Exhibition, Suojia Village, Beijing, China
2007 “Review Exhibition of Chinese Performance Art Photos”, Ying Gallery, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China
2007 “Off center Generation—Post-1970s Group Exhibition” 751 Space, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China
2007 The First “Breathing” Shan Dong Contemporary Art Great Exhibition, Jinan, Shandong province, China
2006 China Contemporary Art Exhibition, Bertin-Toublanc Gallery, Paris, France
2006 The Second“impact power”Contemporary Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Zone, Beijing, China
2006 “Visit by yourself” Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Zone, Beijing, China
2006 Beijing View Exhibition, Ner Art Project Dashanzi Art Zone, Beijing, China
2006 Satellite Exhibition, Shanghai, China
2006 Qingzhou International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Qingzhou Museum , Shandong , China
2006 Asia Contemporary Art Exhibition, Korea
2006 “Redstar,Redstar,Redstar”Contemporary Art Exhibition, Red Star Gallery Dashanzi Art Zone Beijing, China
2006 Nan Jing “Reference inside and outside” Exhibition, Nanjing, China
2006 “Demolish－CHINA”Beijing Contemporary Art Exhibition 751 Factory, Dashanzi Art Zone, Beijing, China
2006 Sculpture Exhibition for 2008 Olympic Jintai Museum, Beijing, China
2006 Opening of Beijing Distillery Art studio, Beijing Wine Factory Art Zone, China
2006 “grey and red” Contemporary Art Exhibition, Dashanzi Art Zone, Beijing, China
2005 Contemporary Art Exhibition of Dismantle at Xiyuantianlu Business Hall, Beijing, China
2005 Beijing Calligraphy Exhibition, Must be Art Centre, Dashanzi Art Zone, Beijing, China
2005 Luxury times — Tianjin Harbour Plaza Cheung Chau Chinese Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Tianjin, China
2005 “dismantle -dismantle–dismantle” Contemporary Art Exhibition of Beijing Suojia Village International Arts Camp – Beijing, China
2001 “Life is Beautiful” — 2001 West Lake International Sculpture Exhibition, Hangzhou Art Museum , China
2001 The Second Invited Sculpture Works Exhibition of Contemporary Young Sculptor, Hangzhou Art Museum, China
2001 The First Sculpture Competition Exhibition, Fujian, China
2001 Exhibition of Sculpture, Peking Passage, Beijing (solo)
2000 The 2nd Invited Sculpture Exhibition of Contemporary Young Sculptor, Hangzhou
2000 Works Exhibition of the First Sculpture Competition China
1999 Work “Embroidery Shoe” was registered “New Reinforcements of Art – after 70′s Born Artist” album
1999 The Second Metals Work Exhibition, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
1998 Haiyang Works Exhibition, Shandong province, China (solo)
Try and see if you’re able to spot the Invisible Artist, Liu Bolin in a series of pictures below.
雕塑 diāo sù Sculpture
伪装 wěi zhuāng camouflage
当代艺术 dāng dài yī shù contemporary art
抗议 kàng yì protest
现实主义 xiàn shí zhǔ yì Realistic
理想主义 lǐ xiǎng zhǔ yì Idealistic
Contributor : Candy Lu