Liu Bolin or "The Art of Being Invisible"

Liu Bolin

This week is a somewhat unusual. My friends from Germany are visiting and they keep me wonderfully busy. This means 2 things. First, blogging and stitching time is sparse and I miss that. Next week, I’ll resume as normal. Second, I’m paying attention to things usually taken for granted.

My visitor’s curiosity inspires me to look at my surroundings in a fresh new way. Going for walks and visiting places feels exciting. I was thinking of how many times I overlook what’s right before my eyes, and one artist came to mind: Liu Bolin.

Inspired by how some animals can blend into their environment, Liu Bolin uses the principles of camouflage to create his art. His work is an expression of his concern of the state of China and it’s lack of recognition of the individual. He was affected by the actions of the Chinese government when the art village Suojiacun was demolished, for the “modernization effort” and in the process, Liu Bolin’s home was destroyed.

Liu Bolin

None of the images here are photo-shopped. Instead he takes hours to prepare the paint and careful application to blend himself into the surroundings. Unseen and ignored. Invisible. Overlooked.

Art is occasionally viewed as a hobby of the rich or bored. Maybe, sometimes that’s correct. But true art is an expression of being brave, bold, curious and can translate an idea or social issue into an experience accessible to others. Often what’s right in front of our eyes is invisible.
Liu Bolin
See, what I mean?

Or as George Orwell said:
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

And curiosity. 

For more pictures of Liu Bolin: Telegraph UK

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7 Responses to “Liu Bolin or "The Art of Being Invisible"”

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  1. britni @ Antika Moda says:

    wow, that's awesome! it literally took me a few seconds to see the person in the last photo.

    ps. I’m giving away a hand knit scarf, stop by and enter! Good luck!! :) http://antikamoda.blogspot.com/2010/10/giveaway-clio-hand-knit-scarf.html

  2. heleen says:

    It's amazing what that artist does! I admire the courage of people in societies like China that express their feelings about their government. And specially when it is done in such an amazing way as Lui Bolin does.
    It took me even more than a few seconds to see the person in the last photo.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Marley says:

    What a great post. Thank you for introducing this inspiring artist to me.

  4. Shelley Noble says:

    Well stated. Remarkable art.

  5. kampinga says:

    What intriguing, powerful images – they certainly caught me unawares! I had never heard of him before, but went to see an exhibition in London’s Tate Modern the other day by another Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei (http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/unileverseries2010/default.shtm). His installation consists of one hundred million porcelain handcrafted sunflower seeds, symbolising (or so an article said he said) the people of China. Some see in those millions of seeds the people whose individuality has been suppressed, the people who haven’t flowered, but at the same time you could see them as symbols of hope, those individually formed and painted seeds that contain a grain of life. At first it is just this great big grey see of pebbles, but when you come closer you can see that they are tiny individual pieces, all carefully made, painted one by one. Beautiful, and again, very powerful.

  6. kids crocs says:

    That was amazing. It seems as if its an optical illusion but then again.. its very different.

  7. Niki says:

    Fantastic blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any
    forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where
    I can get advice from other experienced people that
    share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me
    know. Thanks a lot!

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