Liu Bolin

Hiding in the City No. 102, Green Food

Hide and seek

Liu is an expert at hiding in plain sight. He does a disappearing trick by camouflaging himself. He's right there, but you can only see him if you look very closely. Liu is almost completely absorbed into the background. He says, "If I move a bit, it forces the viewer to look very carefully. It gets them thinking about the artwork. I don't want to disappear completely into the picture."

What's Liu wearing in the photos?

In most of the photos, Liu is wearing an old army uniform in the style of Mao, the former leader of China. It's made of canvas. It is a stiff material and the uniform has a high collar, which makes it a very good suit for painting on. Liu often uses assistants, whom he paints.

Liu flesje


Another photo of Liu in front of the shelves of soft drinks.

The meaning of Liu's photos

There are people who write about art for newspapers and magazines and on the internet. They give their opinion on artworks. This usually involves explaining why they think a particular work of art is good or perhaps bad. Experts feel that with his photos, Liu is saying something about China. Liu disagrees with his country's government. He thinks that people can disappear in Chinese society. For this reason, Liu photographs himself as a man who has almost disappeared.

Words that describe Liu

Journalists who write about Liu have come up with various names for him. He has been called a ‘disappearance artist’ and sometimes a chameleon, which takes on the colour of its surroundings so that you can hardly see it. Just like Liu! Other nicknames for Liu include 'the invisible man' and 'invisibility artist'.

Take your pick

If you were going to be photographed like Liu, which supermarket shelf would you stand in front of? The sweets section, the freezer section? Or perhaps in front of vegetables, like Liu in this photo?

Kijk eens anders

Keep looking. So, did you discover anything new?

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