Chinese artist Liu Bolin makes a bold statement by blending in. Literally. Termed “camouflage art,” Bolin’s most notable work to date, called Invisible Man, uses strategically placed paint and fabrics applied to the human form so that said subject will virtually melt into a busy background. Half the appeal of looking at his photographs is in finding him (or his stand-in) amidst the colorful chaos.
While not all of the images burst with color (there is one where he is standing in a river, for example), the attention to detail is undeniable. Every paint stroke matches the color of the source material; every line and plane aligns with the symmetry already in place (against the American flag, against the steps of imposing Chinese temples, in front of a Viennese gondola). The amount of work it must take for Bolin to transform himself into a piece of the scenery is unfathomable and a testament to his skill and devotion to his craft.
After receiving his BFA from the Shandong College of Arts in 1995, Bolin went on to earn his MFA from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2001, and his work is exhibited internationally. Invisible Man is reportedly a “symbol of humanity, concealed in the growing isolation of the capital.”