Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Art of Liu Bolin


Byter Nando sent me some pics of works by an artist Liu Bolin with the suggestion that it might be a suitable subject for Bytes. It is, thanks Nando, here it is.

Remember the ad for H & R Block where they maintain “We don’t miss a thing”, then the H & R Block rep points out things disguised in the background – elephants, ninjas etc? See an example by clicking on:

Those ads were, no doubt, the result of computer imaging.

There is an artist, however, who does it for real. His name is Liu Bolin, here are some facts:
  • He is aged 43 and was born in China. He lives and works in Beijing.
  • Liu Bolin's most popular works are from his "Hiding in the City" series; photographic works that began as performance art in 2005.
  • Known as The Invisible Man, Bolin stands still for hours in a landscape while his assistants paint on him to create a camouflage, blending him into his surroundings. 

  • Bolin states: “My intention was not to disappear in the environment but instead to let the environment take possession of me.”
  • Part of his message in his art is to emphasis the damages caused by the economic and urban development on the individuals. This is a kind of silent hold where the human being loses his capacity to integrate. 
Some issues which arise:  How much of the credit should go to his assistants, who are the ones who paint him?  Does it do anything for you? Are you left with anything after doing the 'Where's Wally?' exercise?

We know that the tail must wag the dog, as the horse is drawn by the cart;
But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: "It's clever, but is it Art?"
- Rudyard Kipling, Conundrum of the Workshops


Btw, if you want to know what Liu Bolin really looks like, here is a pic of him:


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