Liu Bolin

Hiding in the City – Demolition, China, 2007

Chromogenic print 95/120 cm

Hiding in the city-We need more for the new culture, China, 2005

Chromogenic print
89/120 cm

Courtesy of Yu gallery, Paris

Liu Bolin makes a use of camouflage echoes the instinctive deception of certain animals to melt into their background to hide from predators, or the technique used by war-going soldiers who become invisible to their enemy. Liu Bolin himself says: ‘I don’t integrate myself into an environment, on the contrary, I feel invaded by my environment.’ Man reverts to an animal state to instinctively preserve himself from danger. “The first photo in the ‘Hiding’ series, taken precisely at a dangerous time, is of Suojiacun, the artists’ village that was due to be demolished in 2006, a few short months after its development by a scurrilous promoter. The small community of artists therefore rapidly decides to alert the public to their situation through a series of artistic events. Liu Bolin, forced like the others to move his studio, has only four days to produce work that will become his first camouflage piece. It is an ephemeral sculpture, his performance recorded by photography: it depicts Liu Bolin himself, eyes closed and body painted to meld into the walls of Suojiacun. “In urban camouflages, man becomes invisible. Liu, who considers himself a more realistic than idealistic artist, has managed to express visually a feeling of unease, according to which, despite appearances, everything is not quite right.”