It’s safe to say that Liu Bolin is a modern-day magician. In 2007, his advanced camouflage art exploded onto the art scene as we were all left speechless, scratching our heads at how body paint could seamlessly blend a person into their background. With a team of two assistants, Bolin paints onto his clothes and then spends hours positioning himself in front of backdrops until he’s virtually invisible.
It’s interesting to note that Bolin started painting himself after he lost everything. When the Chinese government shut down his place of employment, the Suojia Village Art Campus, it was at that moment that he decided to head down his own path. “My resistance to the force of governments made me experience the life of people with no social status, no job, no family, no income and this was the emotional reason I began my series of works,” he says. “In my work, the artist is hiding to restore his strength and to protect himself. I want my viewers to experience China as I know it, where the concept of artists as human beings was once neglected.”