China’s Invisible Man – Liu Bolin

Thirty-eight-year-old Liu Bolin’s photo art reminds me of Bev Doolittle’s paintings.  I have one of Doolittle’s prints. The name Bev Doolittle is synonymous with the word “camouflage art,” which is what Liu Bolin is also known for except in photography.

However, Bolin, of Shandong, China, instead of painting on canvas, is the canvas and the settings are photos of actual locations with him as part of the setting.

Oddity Central says, “Liu works on a single photo for up to 10 hours at a time, to make sure he gets it just right, but he achieves the right effect: sometimes passers-by don’t even realize he is there until he moves.”

Mike Krumboltz writing for Yahoo News Weekend edition says of Liu Bolin, “Aside from looking cool, Bolin’s work does have a deeper meaning. Again, according to the Daily Mail, the living sculptures are ‘designed to show how we all can just disappear in today’s mass production world’.”

How is that different from prior to the industrial revolution and mass production?

I’ll tell you.

Before the industrial revolution when most people were illiterate peasants and invisible, only emperors, kings and robber barons were well known. Today, many common people may gain a worldwide reputation due to the Internet as Liu Bolin has done.

Discover Caressing Nature with Chinese Calligraphy


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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One Response to China’s Invisible Man – Liu Bolin

  1. Liu Bolin has been doing his Hiding in the City series since 2005. It started as a political commentary on the tensions between the Chinese government and their people and the identity an environment gives an individual and vice versa. Liu Bolin will be exhibiting at Eli Klein Fine Art in New York from June 29 – August 28, 2011. Eli Klein Fine Art represents him exclusively in North and South America. More images can be found on

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