Lui Bolin is an artist with the ability to make himself disappear. Well, almost. The Chinese artist camouflages himself with paint into his surroundings, meticulously recreating the environment on his own bodily surface so that he fades in seamlessly, going unnoticed to passers-by.
Each photo takes up to 10 hours to work on, and he claims that his work is a protest against the actions of the Chinese government, who shut down his art studio in 2005. Bolin considers himself an outsider in a country that doesn’t accept contemporary artistic projects, hence his disappearing act.
‘It’s what is not seen in a picture which is really what tells the story,’ explains the artist. ‘After graduating from school I couldn’t find suitable work and I felt there was no place for me in society. I experienced the dark side of society, without social relations, and had a feeling that no one cared about me, I felt myself unnecessary in this world. From that time, my attitude turned from dependence into revolting against the system […] The situation for artists in China is very difficult and the forced removal of the artist’s studio is in fact my direct inspiration of this series of photographs, Hiding In The City.’
His work is a silent protest against the government, a quiet but resilient struggle against the realities he faces in contemporary Chinese society.