Sunday, January 30, 2011

Artist Liu Bolin's disappearance into the landscape.

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Hiding in the City No. 94- In the Woods, 2010

Came across this amazing guy the other day.
37-year-old artist Liu Bolin, from Shandong, China camouflages himself into the environment.

Hiding in the City No. 14- Er Guo White Wine Factory, 2006
Hiding in the City No. 91- Great Wall, 2010

The talented Liu Bolin says his art is a protest against the actions of the Government, who shut down his art studio in 2005 and persecutes artists. It’s about not fitting into modern society. The government had stipulated that it didn't want artists gathering and working together. Despite these problems with the authorities, Liu’s works are appreciated internationally.
Liu said he wanted to show how city surroundings affected people living in them.
He added that the inspiration behind his work was a sense of not fitting in to modern society and was a silent protest against the persecution of artists.

Hiding in the City No. 71- Bulldozer, 2008
Hiding in the City - Dragon Series, No. 4 of 10 panels, 2010
Hiding in the City No. 31- Holding Democratic Elections By Law, 2006

In an interview with the Daily Mail he said: '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.
'After graduating from school I couldn't find suitable work and I felt there was no place for me in society.
'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.
'From that time, my attitude turned from dependence into revolting against the system.' 
Liu said he was further pushed on with his work when the Chinese authorities shut down his art studio in Beijing in 2005.
He said: 'At that time, contemporary art was in quick development in Beijing, but the government decided it did not want artists like us to gather and live together.
'Also many exhibitions were forced to close.
'The situation for artists in China is very difficult and the forced removal of the artist's studio is in fact my direct inspiration of this series of photographs, Hiding In The City.'  

Hiding in the City No. 16 & 17 People's Policeman, 2006
Teatro alla Scala, 2010
Hiding in the City No. 93- Supermarket No. 2, 2010

Liu begins by choosing the background location. Then he stands in position as the blank canvas for up to 10 hours as his helpers, armed with paintbrushes make him disappear into the surrounding landscape.
'There are many people who like my work I think because my work has a quiet strength, in the photographs.
'I am standing, but there is a silent protest, the protest against the environment for the survival, the protest against the state.
'I wanted to photograph the reality of scenes of China's development today.
'My work is a kind of reminder, to remind people what the community we live in really looks like, and what kind of problems exist.'
Hiding in the City No. 85, 2009

Liu Bolin has a huge portfolio of amazing work, in fact I had difficulty in limiting the amount of photos in this post to ten. If you would like to see the full portfolio of his work, you can find it here.
Check out the video to see how the photo above was created.

Scorces Bolin 


  1. unbelievable! thank you for this great post!

  2. Thank you for a wonderfully interesting post! Will pass your post on on Twitter!

  3. What a statement this artist is making. Very powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Fascinating work and his artistic statement. Quite beautiful.

  5. Absolutely amazing. What a way to comment on our society and the way many people feel and are treated.

  6. This is harder that "Find Waldo."
    I wonder if he and his assistants are in danger for doing this incredible work.

  7. Great post! I've just put a link to it on my blog. And thanks for your comment on my last post...

  8. I loved this and tweeted it on @appalachianfeet. I can't believe what a great job they do painting him into oblivion.

  9. Thank you! I am fascinated by the dragon tiles ...

  10. Liu Bolin has been doing his Hiding in the City series since 2005. It started as a political commentary on the tensions between the Chinese government and their people and the identity an environment gives an individual and vice versa. Liu Bolin will be exhibiting at Eli Klein Fine Art in New York from June 29 - August 28, 2011. Eli Klein Fine Art represents him exclusively in North and South America. More images can be found on