Above: Liu Bolin questions the relationship between an individual and their surroundings.
Shanghai’s Magda Gallery has unveiled a six-year retrospective of China’s invisible man. The exhibition covers Liu Bolin’s work in sculpture and traditional furniture, but the Beijing-based artist is perhaps best-known for his long term project, “Hiding in the City.”
Liu’s meticulous method involves standing perfectly stationary for up to ten hours in front of his target while his assistant paints him into the scene. The finished product is a photograph illustrating ambiguity, whether Liu is on the surface of his subject matter, or hidden beneath– a search for a permanent sense of identity in a society undergoing transition.
The point is made ever clearer when Liu tackles the iconography of communism, challenging the notions of individual agency in a society where such notions are challenging to express in plain sight.
The exhibition runs until August 31, Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.