“When I began the Hiding in the City series, my photographs reflected a refusal of fatality, and a questioning of the ties connecting me to my existence.” Everything began in 2005, when Liu Bolin’s studio was destroyed among those of other artists, in Suojia Village, in the northern suburb of Beijing. As a sign of protest, Liu Bolin created a photograph in front of the ruins, hiding himself by covering his body with thick layers of paint.
Since then, Liu Bolin has continued his camouflage performances to reveal the contradictions in contemporary society. “Some say that I fade into the landscape – I would say that it’s the environment that takes possession of me.” If he often chooses natural, urban or cultural landscapes, neither does he hesitate to stage the background of his performance. Here, he is a civilian, barely discernible in front of a police officer who is covering his eyes. Captive and blind, this civilian is a reference to the obliteration and imprisonment resulting from the frenetic pursuit of development.
“China is facing a delicate time: before the country had nothing, now it has everything. Yet there is no ensuing thought and consideration. If there wasn’t this spiritual and cultural void caused by China’s development, my photographic performances would not exist.” This engagement has resulted in censorship: in 2009, this photograph was taken off the wall of a Beijing exhibition.
To receive this numbered photographic print, order Wombat N°30.