Red No 1, 2012

Liu Bolin

Photography : inkjet 35.4 x 47.2 inch


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Liu Bolin, Red No 1

About the artwork

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"I use a sniper’s technique," said Liu Bolin in a TED talk in 2013, commenting on his famous series Invisible Man, these photo-performances where the Chinese artist uses camouflage to blend into the landscape in his photographs. A chameleon artist, through his own dissimulation Liu Bolin creates a tension in the image. The background in his photographs, whether it be a supermarket shelf or an iconic tourist spot, often appears as predatory. "Some would say that I disappear into the landscape," he says. “Personally, I would say that it is the environment that swallows me up." Reenacted so often, in so many places on the planet, his work is penetrated with the idea that there are in this world countless ways to be swallowed, countless ways to be denied one’s individuality. It might be the city’s environment that shrinks you down to a shadow on the walls; it might be our consumer society, with its shopping malls, its mass tourism, its entertainment industry, that threatens to absorb you. In parallel with his photography work, Liu Bolin continues to practice sculpture – the medium with which he started as an artist - and creates human figures made of electronic components, motherboards, USB cables. This sculpture work completes, and in one way illuminates, the Invisible Man series. It proceeds from the same vision of a humanity in jeopardy, and invites us to question whether our species isn’t perhaps on the path to being dissolved into the technological, economic and political structures of this contemporary age. The question is asked with some insistence, but always in an open-handed, non-authoritarian way. Liu Bolin favors hushed tones and silent interventions. Literally and figuratively, he disappears into his creations. In his photo-performances, it is the viewer who needs to lay bare the meaning of the work, who needs to spot the outlines of his silhouette and reveal the human form. In the end, this perpetual disappearance is above all a pretext for putting Man back into the picture. An exhortation to make him reappear.
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Danysz Gallery • Paris, France

Artsper seller since 2014

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Dimensions cm inch
35.4 x 47.2 inch
Not framed
Numbered and limited to 8 copies
2 copies available
Work sold with an invoice from the gallery and a certificate of authenticity
Signed artwork

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Liu Bolin

Liu Bolin

China • Born in: 1973


Emerging Asian Artists

Optical Illusions Photographers


Photographers Artists

Printmakers Artists

Draughtsmen Artists

Chinese artists

Liu Bolin is born in 1973 in China where he lives and works.

Despite his worldwide fame, it is the first time ever in Shanghai one can see the complete line of his work from the beginnings until the present days. Known for his “Invisible Man" photo-performance, Liu Bolin has through the years been working on different subsequent themes. Media as sculpture being one that can't be ignored, for they provide variation in his consistent research. Sculptures, as his photographs, show how the outside can blend with the inside and vice versa.

Liu Bolin's work requires meticulous planning and execution. It all lies in the perfection of the vision, whether it is an illusion or just a mirror surface. Known for his “Invisible Man" photo-performance, Liu Bolin has also through the years been working on different subsequent themes and media, as sculpture for instance. Liu Bolin uses the city around him as a backdrop, painting himself to blend in with a landscape in constant flux. By literally blending into the city, Liu creates a tension that challenges the viewer to question what is above and beneath the surface. For Liu, the most important element of his images is the background.

Each image requires rigorous planning and execution: as both artist and performer, Liu directs the photographer on how to compose each scene before entering the frame. Once situated, he puts on a monochromatic uniform, which he wears for all of his Invisible Man photographs and, with the help of an assistant and painter, is painted seamlessly into the scene. This process can sometimes take up to 10 hours with Liu having to stand perfectly still. Although the end result of Liu's process is the photograph, the tension between his body and the landscape is an important aspect to the process.

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