Hiding in the City, No 57.

Chinese artist Liu Bolin is known as “the Invisible Man" because of his uncanny ability to use bodypaint to camouflage into everything from grocery store aisle to library stacks to gun racks.

Dragon Series.

Bolin is a master of disguise, but he isn't merely interested in neat optical illusions--rather, he uses his work to illustrate the oppression of artists and citizens in China, who are frequently silenced by the government.

Hiding in the City No. 90 – National Day.

Bolin's first U.K. solo exhibition, The Heroic Apparition, opens this week at London’s Scream Gallery.

Hiding in the City – Puffed Food.

Bolin’s work began as performance in 2005 in the artist village of Suo Jia Cun in Beijing, which was destroyed by the government.

Hiding in Paris No. 6 – Archives.

Bolin would choose a location and have a team of assistants paint his body to seamlessly merge into the urban environment.

Hiding in Colombia – Gold Museum.

Passersby were often oblivious to his presence, as his physical form became a ghostly outline against a the urban backdrop.

Hiding in the City – Info Wall.

The series of photographs resulting from these performances, called "Hiding in the City," went viral, turning him into one of China's most talked-about and provocative artists.

Hiding in New York No. 6 – Intrepid.

He inspired not just fellow dissenters, but also a slew of ad campaigns.

Hiding in the City No. 85 – Chinese Courtyard.

“The only way I have to express my feelings is to show them in my works and try to use them to wake up the world around me,” Bolin says of his work in a statement.

Hiding in Paris No. 7 – Graffiti

The Heroic Apparition is on view at Scream Gallery in London until May 10th.

Hiding in Colombia – Mochilas.

See more of his work here.

Co.Design

The Best Of Master Camouflage Artist Liu Bolin

Chinese artist Liu Bolin paints his body to camouflage into urban environments. His first retrospective opens in the U.K. this week.

Chinese artist Liu Bolin is known in the art world as “the Invisible Man" because of his uncanny ability to use bodypaint to camouflage into everything from grocery store aisles to library stacks to gun racks. Bolin is a master of disguise, but he isn't merely interested in neat optical illusions--rather, he uses his work to illustrate the oppression of artists and citizens in China, who are frequently silenced by the government. His first U.K. solo exhibition, The Heroic Apparition, opens this week at London’s Scream Gallery.

Bolin’s work began as performance in 2005 in the artist village of Suo Jia Cun in Beijing, which was destroyed by the government. Bolin would choose a location and have a team of assistants paint his body to seamlessly merge into the urban environment. Passersby were often oblivious to his presence, as his body became a ghostly outline against a the urban backdrop. The series of photographs resulting from these performances, called "Hiding in the City," went viral, turning him into one of China's most talked-about artists--inspiring not just fellow dissenters, but also a slew of ad campaigns. “The only way I have to express my feelings is to show them in my works and try to use them to wake up the world around me,” Bolin says of his work in a statement.

The Heroic Apparition is on view at Scream Gallery in London until May 10.

[Photos by Liu Bolin]

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