Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Liu Bolin: Hiding Everywhere

Why is it governments feel threatened by artists? I ask because history is rife with stories of artists being jailed, their art destroyed and their studios demolished. In modern times, the dubious distinction seems to belong to the Chinese government. (Remember my blog on Ai Wei-Wei? Archive: May, 2012)

In 2005, the Beijing artist village with about 100 studios was razed by the government. Among the artists who suffered the loss was Liu Bolin (1973-) - an internationally recognized artist who has exhibited his photography and sculpture all over the world.

Bolin understood that the government regarded art as unimportant and artists as being without social status. With that in mind, Bolin created the series "Hiding in the City." It was a silent protest to the role of artists in the culture.

He photographed himself in scenes of soldiers, temples, "Made in China" toy stores, and all sorts of scenes. He had himself painted to match the scene as the "Invisible Artist." (The painting of his body can take as long as 10 hours!)

Below are some of Bolin "hiding." (Click on image to enlarge)

What do you think of his silent protest?