Liu Bolin: The Master of Camouflage

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Liu Bolin timelapse at TED2013 from TED Blog on Vimeo


THE ART OF CAMOUFLAGE - COFL from Community of Lights on Vimeo.

Born in Shandong, China in 1973, Liu Bolin is a Chinese artist known for taking photographs of himself, painted in order to blend in with the background.He graduated from the Sculpture Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Liu belongs to the generation that came of age in the early 1990s, when China emerged from the rubble of the Cultural Revolution and was beginning to enjoy rapid economic growth and relative political stability.


liu bolin 15


Since his first solo shows in Beijing in 1998, Liu Bolin's work has received international recognition. Among other international venues, his distinctive photographs and sculptures have been shown at the major contemporary photography festival Les Recontres d'Arles and he had solo shows at Dashanzi Art Zone in Beijing (2007), Galerie Bertin-Toublanc in Paris (2007), Eli Klein Fine Art in New York (2008), Boxart Gallery in Verona (2008), Forma Foundation for Photography in Milan (2010).




As you can see, Liu Bolin has perfected the art of paint camuflage by carefully and meticuosly staging and preparing each scene to be captured flawlessly with his body blending in the photograph.  Many would think that his art is a result of photoshop even though it is being created as real images snapshots.




The photo gallery below includes some of his work on the "Hiding in the City" series. Lui, also known as the Chinese Chameleon, spends about 10 hours being painted for each work so he perfectly matches the background.




Bolin was recently in New York City to create the latest  installment of his project 'Hiding in the City,' which previously included Beijing and Venice.  




You can see him above at Wall Street and the famous Bull sculpture which highlights his most recent work using New York City sourrounding in the "Art of Camouflage"



Making of video of the Louvre project by artists Liu Bolin and JR. Production : Magda Danysz Gallery - Director : Magalie Moreau - Music : "A Journey" Barry Gledden



Moncler presents the brand’s Spring / Summer 2017 advertising campaign, shot by renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz, with a form of communication which has again proven entirely unexpected and innovative. Following the fairy-tale atmosphere and literary vision of previous Moncler campaigns, the Spring/Summer 2017 imagery plays out along a surreal imaginary thread. Images are transformed into a chameleon-like camouflage which eliminates any certainty of reality. The protagonist is Chinese artist Liu Bolin, master of the impossible and the invisible, renowned for his allusive art in which only the silhouette of his body is visible against backdrops.






Liu Bolin waits for the finishing touches to his camouflage, before being completely blended into the background, in front of a shelf lined with comic books, as part of a series of performances known as "the invisible man" for using painted-on camouflage to blend into the backdrops of his photographs. his work includes series titled "Hiding in the City" and "The Invisible Man."


Stages of Camouflage


A photo series shows stages of Chinese artist Liu Bolin being painted during a happening at the Grand Palais in Paris, on April 1, 2011. Bolin, from Shandong, China, manages to camouflage himself in any surroundings, standing silently in front of his chosen scene in locations all around the world, the 37-year-old artist uses himself as a blank canvas. 


Liu Bolin Grand Palais Paris 2011

Liu Bolin at the Grand Palais in Paris on April 1, 2011



Gullaume Beal Painting Bollin at the Gran Palais Paris April 1 2011

Liu Bolin is Painted by Guillaume at the Grand Palais in Paris


Bolin Standing in Front of Staircase Gran Palais 2011

Liu Bolin Stands Before a Staircase at the end of a Happening at the Grand Palais in Paris, on April 1, 2011


Plasticiser august 2011


Liu Bolin waits for his colleagues to put a finishing touch on him to blend into rows of soft drinks in his artwork entitled "Plasticizer," to express his speechlessness at use of plasticizer in food additives, in his studio at the 798 Art District in Beijing, China, on August 10, 2011. 


Painting the face to finish Plasticiser august 2011


Liu Bolin is painted with the help of his colleagues to blend into rows of soft drinks in his artwork entitled "Plasticizer," on August 10, 2011. 


Final Touches on Plasticiser


Final changes are made to Liu Bolin's "Plasticizer" work in Beijing, on August 10, 2011.


Red Theater Participants final touches Beijing 2013


A participant is painted to make her look exactly the same as the seats of a theatre, during Liu Bolin's new project, in Beijing, on September 12, 2013. The work, called "Red Theatre", is one of more than 100 "invisible works" Liu has completed since 2005. 


participant waitinfg for finish touches


A participant waits for the finishing touches to her makeup, as part of Liu Bolin's "Red Theatre", in Beijing, on September 12, 2013. 


Red Theater Beijing september 12 2013


Artist Liu Bolin is painted by an assistant for "Red Theatre", on September 12, 2013. 


Inspecting a picture of Red Theater Liu Bolina nd Assistant

Liu Bolin and his Assistant Inspect a Picture in a Lap Top on Red Theater


Liu Bolin painted by students of Stuttgart art Academy germany 2013


Chinese artist Liu Bolin is painted by students of the Stuttgart art academy in front of a wall with different magazines in the Kunstverein (art association) in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on May 15, 2013. 


Smile as he gets ready to be displayed in vegetables


Liu smiles as he readies himself to blend in with rows of vegetables displayed on the shelves at a supermarket in Beijing, on November 10, 2011. 


Showing his work in an iPhone


An assistant shows a photo on a mobile phone to artist Liu Bolin as Liu demonstrates an art installation at a supermarket in Beijing, on November 10, 2011. 



Standing in front of Vegetable Display

Liu Stands Before Rows of Vegetables Displayed on Shelves at a Supermarket in Beijing, on November 10, 2011 


Comic Books in Caracas Venezuela 2013


People watch as Liu is prepared to be blended completely into the background in front of a shelf lined with comic books, as part of a series of performances in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 2, 2013. 


shoes to blend wit comic book display

Liu's Shoes Before He Wears Them to Blend Himself Into a Shelf

Lined with Comic Books


Blending comic book final


Chinese artist Liu Bolin blends himself into a shelf lined with comic books as part of a series of performances in Caracas, on November 2, 2013