Liu Bolin: The Heroic Apparition, Scream, London

Scream in London will be opening an exhibition by Chinese artist Liu Bolin on the 3 April. The exhibition, titled The Heroic Apparition, is the latest in Bolin’s unseen works of camouflage trickery. Based in Beijing, Bolin’s work highlights the socio-political tensions within China.

Liu Bolin’s work begun as performance art, in which he would select a location in the city and, using his body as a canvas, create a camouflage allowing him to vanish within his surroundings. Thus, after up to 10 hours of make-up, the ‘invisible man’ is born; a politically charged icon of artistic loss under the strict and oppressive Chinese regime. Bolin claims that even passers-by are unaware of his presence and his photographs capture him literally fading into the background of the city. Having attended Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2001, Bolin has experienced at first hand the intrusive growth of factories in the city; often appearing at the expense of the precious yet sparse cultural districts attempting to co-exist with the ever-aggressive, industrial face of the city.

It is the passivity of Bolin’s work, the representation of inaction that lends the work such potency. Through depicting himself, the artist, as a fading figure, lost within the fabric of the overpowering city that makes such a bold statement. Through silent protest, he is giving voice to loud criticism of the Chinese government and their oppression of the individual within their system. Although Bolin works across mediums such as sculpture, performance and photography, it is his camouflage work that has ensured his following, having now become his signature style.

Bolin’s representation of identity within a regime, as well as his exploration of the relationship between humans and the environment, have created for him a reputation as one of the most exciting of contemporary artists and he has exhibited his work across the globe. The Heroic Apparition runs from 3 April to 10 May.

Scream, 27—28 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DH

For more information visit

1. Liu Bolin, Hiding in the City – Info Wall (2011) Epson Ultra Giclee Photographic paper mounted under Diasec, 63 x 80 cm (24.8 X 31.5″) Edition of 8