Liu Bolin was moved to create his “Hiding in the City” series after the Chinese government destroyed Beijing artist village Suo Jia Cun in November 2005. At the time of this destruction, Liu Bolin had been working in Suo Jia Cun, which had been previously named Asia’s largest congregation of artists. Prompted by his emotional response to the demolition of this site, Liu decided to use his art as a means of silent protest, calling attention to the lack of protection Chinese artists had received from their own government.
Why do you choose urban landscapes for the majority of your work?
Bolin: In the development of Chinese society, we experienced movements which were against humanity and purged people’s minds. I chose to camouflage my body into the environment because this way, people will pay more attention to the background’s social property, and the meaning of my body disappeared in this environment as an individual. In one aspect, my works record the history of the development of Chinese society. Concern about the situation of Chinese reality is one important theme of my works. I am trying to ask, “How does our society develop? What are the problems in our society? Where is our direction leading?”
This has been my profession for the last 20 years, and when I am not busy creating something new, I enjoy curating content and showing those that look towards me that there are many brilliant, wonderful and talented artists out there who deserve their due attention and recognition.