liu bolin

Liu BOLIN
  • biography
Born in China’s Shandong province in 1973, Liu Bolin earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Shandong College of Arts and his Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

Better known as “The Invisible Man” in media circles, Liu sprang from a generation of artists struggling with the consequences of the Cultural Revolution and the rapid economic development in the decades after. He discusses the social concerns of his home country through his artistic practice, most prominently through his ‘camouflage’ installations. Traversing mediums such as performance, photography and social activism, Liu dissects the tense relationship between the individual and society by ‘disappearing’ into environments which are sites of intrigue, contention and criticism.

Liu Bolin comes from a post-Cultural Revolution generation that lives with the knowledge of history but whose lives have developed during a period of constant transition. During this unstable time, it is often hard to grasp any one identity or perspective. Liu Bolin has employed the tools of various media in order to express the experience of living in China today. He seeks to come to terms with this ephemeral China within his oeuvre that ranges from photographs of figures camouflaged within backgrounds including demolition sights, Tiananmen Square, sculptures of anonymous monochrome boys, or paintings of photographs of Communist slogans. Assistants then meticulously paint Liu’s body, face and uniform to merge him seamlessly into the background creating simultaneously a slow disappearing act as well as an embodiment and reflection of his environment. This chameleonic process can sometimes take up to 10 hours at a time. Upon completion of the body painting, a photograph is taken of the scene and performance.

Liu Bolin’s earlier « Hiding in the City » photography series, in which he paints himself into the urban landscape, began in 2005 as a response to the authorities demolition of the artists’ village where his studio was located, in order to make way for construction projects for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He drew attention to great landmarks in China, both old and modern, while highlighting the lack of recognition which was paid to the citizens that built them. He portrayed the tragedy of the increasing insignificance of the individual in China as the government focused on presenting a modern commercial and industrial image. Rather than trying to fight, people attempted to hide and adapt to these forced changes.

Liu Bolin’s work is always subtly exploring the political and social situation in China. He does not directly state one viewpoint or another, but rather simply suggests ideas that are ultimately open for interpretation. Their meanings will evolve and grow with time as the China depicted in his work changes.

His « Hiding in the City » series has been displayed in numerous museums and institutions across the globe. Inspired by his powerful visual messages, artists such as JR, Jon Bon Jovi Kenny Scharf have invited Liu Bolin to collaborate on creative projects and in 2013, Liu presented a TED talk in Long Beach, California In 2015, Liu was selected by United Nations backed campaign The Global Goals to create an image that conveyed 17 goals – including ending poverty, encouraging sustainable development and fight inequality and injustice – where he hid himself within 193 flags of the world.


Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015
Hiding in the City, Edwynn Houk Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
Liu Bolin, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
Liu Bolin, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2014
Liu Bolin, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID, USA
A colorful world, Klein Sun Gallery, New York, USA
In plain sight : photographs by Liu Bolin, University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA
2013
Liu Bolin, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
Liu Bolin, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium
Mask, Eli Klein Fine Art, new York, USA
Liu Bolin - ein Meister der Tarnung,” Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Festival Made In Asia, Toulouse, France
2012
Festival Images, Vevey, Switzerland
Liu Bolin, The Longyear Museum of Anthropology, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
Liu Bolin, Photographers Limited Editions, Vienna, Austria
Liu Bolin: A Secret Tour, Museo H.C. Andersen, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy
Liu Bolin: The Sociology of the Invisible Body, California State University Northridge Art Galleries, Northridge, CA
The Invisible Man, Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russia
Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, USA
2011
Liu Bolin, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing, China
The Invisible Man, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, USA
Hiding in the City, Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Hiding in the City, Galerie Paris-Beijing, France
2010
Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA
Hiding in Italy, Forma Centro Internazionale Di Fotografia, Milano, Italy
Hiding in the City, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela
Sunshine International Art Museum, Songzhuang, Beijing, China
On Fire, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY
Galerie Du Monde, Hong Kong, China
Young Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2009
Hiding in the City, Galeria Tagomago, Barcelona, Spain
Getting Accustomed to Being Impermanent, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China
Hiding in the City, Yu Gallery, Paris, France
2008
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Boxart Gallery, Verona, Italy
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Galerie Bertin-Toublanc, Paris, France
Lin bolin Solo Exhibition, 798 Originality Square, Beijing, China
Lin bolin Solo Exhibition, Bridge Art Center, Beijing, China
Lin bolin Solo Exhibition, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Liu Bolin's Life, Hotsun Art Space, Beijing, China
Lin bolin Solo Exhibition, Galerie Adler, Paris, France
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Mediterranean Gallery, Palermo, Italy
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Eli Klein Gallery, New York, USA
2006
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Galerie Bertin-Toublanc, Miami, USA
Liu Bolin Sculpture Exhibition, Hotsun Art Space, Beijing, China
Distortion, Hotsun Art Space, Beijing, China
Liu Bolin Solo Exhibition, Galerie Bertin-Toublanc, Paris, France


Selected Group Exhibitions
2015
Guerlain's group exhibition La petite Robe noire, variation autour d'un mythe, Avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris, France
2014
Perspectives, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
Les esthétiques d'un monde désenchanté, Abbaye Saint André, Centre D'Art Contemporain, Meymac, France
The Camera's Eye, PHOTOJAX 2014, Jacksonville, Floride, USA
East Wing Biennial: INTERACT, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London, England
Pho-to-graffs: Images of Hip Hop, Grafitti, and Urban Culture,” Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, New York, USA
Seeing the Unseen," The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Floride, USA
East by South East, OBS Gallery, Tonbridge School, Tonbridge, England
Chinese Contemporary Photography: 2009 - 2014 Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2013
Incarnations : photographies-performances de Chine, Institut Confucius, Angers, France
Invisible, the 13th China Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
Portrait(s), Culture Centre Valery Larbaud, Vichy, France
Inner Journeys, Maison Paticulière Art Center, Brussels, Belgium
Religion, Ritual, and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, Usa
Incarnations, Institut Confucius des Pays de la Loire d'Angers, Angers, France
Aura and Post Aura, The First Beijing Photography Biennale, China Millennium Monument, Beijing, China
2012
Incarnations, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
Changement de Décor, Festival des Arts Visuels de Vevey, Vevey, Switzerland
Bienne Festival of Photography, Bienne, Switzerland
Harper's Bazaar: Inside the Magazine, Museum of Modern Art, Kiev, Ukraine
Performing for the Camera, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona, USA
2011
Scenes from Within: Contemporary Art from China, Blackbridge Hall Gallery, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA
Fotográfica Biennale, Museo de Fotografía, Bogotá, Columbia
Black and White, Zero Art Museum, Beijing, China
Fotográfica Biennale, Museo de Fotografía, Bogotá, Columbia
2010
The Right to Protest, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel
Passing China, Sanatorium, Istanbul, Turkey
HomeLessHome, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel
Armed & Dangerous: Art of the Arsenal, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, USA
Animamix Biennial, Shanghai MoCA, Shanghai, Today Art Museum, Beijing, Guangdong Museum of Art
2009
Incarnations, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Beijing
Shore - Contemporary Academy Sculpture Exhibition, Moon River Art Museum, Beijing, China
Blank - Making China, Zhongjian Art Museum, Beijing, China
International Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition, Seoul Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Erotic - Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition, Dadi Rui City Exhibition Center, Jinan, China
The Big World: Recent Art from China, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, USA
Passing By China, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY
Camouflage, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain
2008
The Need of Representation, Beijing Yonghe Art Museum, Beijing, China
Memory, BS1 Gallery, Beijing, China
Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, 798 Originality Square, Beijing, China
International Art Exhibition, Sunshine Art Museum, Beijing, China
Being - Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Jinan, China
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Liverpool, UK
Force-Form, International Art Exhibition, Bridge Art Center, Beijing, China
The Converted-Image, Dax Art Space, Beijing, China
Rome International Contemporary Art Exhibition, International Exhibition Center, Rome, Italy
2007
Lost in Transition, Eli Klein Gallery, New York, USA
Digital-man, Season Gallery, Beijing, China
Leaving the City, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China
Image Documents of China, Songzhuang Art Festival, Beijing, China
He - Group Exhibition of Chinese & Chilean Artists, The First Land Art District, Beijing, China
Made in Beijing - Contemporary Art Exhibition, Seoul, Korea
Memory - Contemporary Art Exhibition, New York Art Center, Beijing, China
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, New Gallery, Houston, USA
Arles International Photo Festival, Arles, France
Commune by the Great Wall Art Exhibition, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China
Made in Beijing - Contemporary Art Exhibition, Duolun Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Union, The First Land Art District, Beijing, China
Union in June, China Performance Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art District, Beijing, China
Dream of China - Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Galerie Adler, Paris, France
Back, Hotsun Art Space, Beijing, China
After..., Beijing New Art Project Space, Beijing, China
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Mediterranean Gallery, Palermo, Italy
Resetting, Suojia Artist Village, Beijing, China
Photography of Performance Art Exhibition, Inter Gallery, Beijing, China
Born in the 70's - Off-center Generation, 751 Factory, 798 Art District, Beijing, China
Breathing - The 1st Contemporary Art Exhibition of Shandong, Shandong Museum, Jinan, China
2006
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Galerie Bertin-Toublanc, Paris, France
Impact Power, Sunshine Art Museum, Beijing, China
Visit in Person, Songzhuang Art District, Beijing, China
Beijing's View, Beijing New Art Project Space, Beijing, China
Qingzhou International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Qingzhou Museum, Shandong, China
Asain Contemporary Art Exhibition, Korea
Red Star, Red Star, Red Star, Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China
Chai Na - Enemies at the Gate, 751 Factory, 798 Art District, Beijing, China
2008 Olympic Sculpture Exhibition, Jintai Art Museum, Beijing, China
Grey & Red, Beijing New Art Project Space, Beijing, China
2005
Luxury Age, Chinese Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Tianjin, China
Chai? Chai! Chai. , Suojia Artist Village, Beijing, China
2001
Life is Beautiful - Invitational Sculpture Exhibition, Hangzhou Art Museum, China
Invitational Sculpture Exhibition of Youth Artists, Hangzhou Art Museum, China


Collections

Fondation Frances, Senlis, France
Fondation Ariane de Rothschild, Madrid, Spain
Allen Memorial Art
Museum, Oberlin College, USA
Bates College Museum of Art, USA
ARTantide Museum, Italy
MART, Museo d'arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy
The Red Mansion Foundation, London, UK
Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel
Banca Aletti, Milan, Italy
Symbolic Collection, San Diego, CA
Unicredit Group, Italy
Collection SOCIETE GENERALE, France
Collection NEUFLIZE VIE, France
88-MOCCA, Liechtenstein
Teutloff Photo & Video Collection, Germany
FMAC Paris, France

exhibitions :

Filter by categories :

photography

Zoom Hiding in the city No. 87 - Demolition Site, 2009

Hiding in the city No. 87 - Demolition Site, 2009

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 6 ex + 2 A.P

37" x 47" (95cm x 120cm) available
Zoom Hiding in the City No. 73 - Decorated with the Locomotive, 2008

Hiding in the City No. 73 - Decorated with the Locomotive, 2008

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 8 ex + 2 A.P

25" x 31" x 1" (63cm x 80cm x 3cm) available 46" x 59" (118cm x 150cm) available
Zoom Hiding in the city- Your world, 2014

Hiding in the city- Your world, 2014

Photography mounted on diasec and resin - Original edition 8 ex + 4 AP

37" x 47" (95cm x 120cm) available 44" x 59" (112cm x 150cm) available
Zoom Hiding in the City - Screen in Rest, 2017

Hiding in the City - Screen in Rest, 2017

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 8 ex + 2 A.P

35" x 47" (90cm x 120cm) available
Zoom Hiding in London No. 5 - Beer Rack, 2014

Hiding in London No. 5 - Beer Rack, 2014

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 6 ex + 2 A.P

35" x 47" (90cm x 120cm) available 44" x 59" (112cm x 150cm) available 53" x 71" (135cm x 180cm) available
Zoom Dragon Series, 2010

Dragon Series, 2010

Photograph in 9 panels - Original edition of 3 ex.

46" x 59" (118cm x 150cm) available
Zoom Hiding in the City No. 33 - Promote Democracy, Strictly Follow the Law, 2006

Hiding in the City No. 33 - Promote Democracy, Strictly Follow the Law, 2006

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 8 ex + 2 A.P

59" x 48" (150cm x 121cm) available
Zoom Hiding in the City No. 97 - Yellow River, 2011

Hiding in the City No. 97 - Yellow River, 2011

Photography on dibond and acrylic resin - Limited edition of 8 ex + 2 A.P

37" x 47" (95cm x 120cm) available

sculpture

Zoom Red hand - 6, 2006

Red hand - 6, 2006

Fiberglass sculpture - Original edition of 16 ex.

55" x 12" x 10" (140cm x 30cm x 25cm) available
Zoom Red Hand (White Set of 8), 2008

Red Hand (White Set of 8), 2008

Fiberglass sculpture - Limited edition of 8 ex + 2 A.P

71" x 20" x 37" (180cm x 50cm x 95cm) available
Zoom Sunflowers on the man #1, 2008 (little boy)

Sunflowers on the man #1, 2008 (little boy)

Stainless steel sculpture - Limited edition of 6 ex + 2 A.P

65" x 35" x 33" (165cm x 90cm x 85cm) available
Zoom Sunflowers on the man #2, 2008 (little girl)

Sunflowers on the man #2, 2008 (little girl)

Stainless steel sculpture - Limited edition of 6 ex + 2 A.P

65" x 35" x 33" (165cm x 90cm x 85cm) available

This work interests you ?
Do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiries.