The invisible man: Liu Bolin at TED2013

vickiburtt:

the art of disappearing to communicate very powerful messages

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Can a person disappear in plain sight? That’s the question Liu Bolin‘s remarkable works all seem to ask. The Beijing-based artist is sometimes called “The Invisible Man” because in nearly all his art, Bolin is front and center — and completely unseen. Bolin aims to draw attention to social and political issues by dissolving into the background of his work.

Liu_Bolin_HITC_No.4_Chinese_Contemporary_105x160cm_photo_2006
Photo: Courtesy Eli Klein Fine Art

When Bolin works, he stands as still as he can for as long as he can against the background he plans to disappeared into. He wears a suit, and his assistants paint over the suit and his face. When the camera is placed directly in front of him he appears indistinguishable from the scene behind him. A simple painting takes 3 to 4 hours. Something as complicated as “Supermarket,” below, takes 3 to 4 days. There is no Photoshop…

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