Liu Bolin, who is known as “The Chameleon Man” and “The Invisible Man”, was born in the Shandong province of China in 1973. Having a love of art, Bolin pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Shandong College of Arts, graduating in 1995. He decided to continue his education and received his Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2001.
In 2005, the Chinese government shut down his art studio in what Bolin calls
a persecution of artists.
The Chaoyang District village of Suojia became the home of the International Art Camp in 2005. More than 100 artists from Beijing and other cities within China, along with artists from the United States, France and Japan began flocking to the new “artist community.” The camp was later shut down by the Chinese government because it occupied “illegal” land. Artists within the community protested the closure, but were unsuccessful in having it reopened. The government then began to close down other art studios, including Bolin's.
Bolin told Liubolinet Art
that the experience made him want to disappear. He went on to say:
“I started to hide myself, which can be taken as a sort of self-defense mechanism because I think it was better than being overlooked. It also represented my helpless mood. Just like having a dream, I achieved some balance in my heart after finishing the artwork.”
It was then that his work as “The Chameleon Man” began.
Using sculpture, body art, painting, and photography, Bolin creates "performance art installations", posing motionless for several hours, blending into the surrounding environment. Often times, passer-bys never see him unless he happens to move. He will prepare for a single photo for as long as 10 hours, making sure every detail is perfect.
Bolin has had numerous group and solo exhibits over the last eleven years. His most recent exhibits were at Eli Klein Fine Arts in New York and "The Invisible Man" series at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation in Moscow.
His newest exhibit, entitled "Hide in the City", opens at the Galerie Paris-Beijing on January 10th and will run through March 9, 2013.