The art of disappearing

Can a person disappear in plain sight? & Can disappearing be a political statement?

“Disappearing is not the main point of my work,” Liu has said. “It’s just the method I use to pass on a message… It’s my way to convey all the anxiety I feel for human beings.”

Hiding in the City no. 88 Sawmill, 2010

Liu Bolin: Hiding in the City no. 88 Sawmill, 2010


“From my perspective, the meaning of human beings has been constantly annihilated in modern society. In the rapidly developing course, while living environment is improving, people are effacing themselves; what a great contradiction! I choose to hide in different backgrounds because each one has its own significance.”

Hiding in the City no. 100 Chinese Bookshelf, 2012

Liu Bolin: Hiding in the City no. 100 Chinese Bookshelf, 2012


In 2013, Bolin began to include other people in his images. He took this picture in a village in rural China whose residents had been deeply impacted by a nearby chemical plant. “Every night, the chemical plant emitted noxious gas. The local crops became inedible. The local groundwater became seriously polluted. Natural mortality rate doubled,” he says; he pays tribute to some of the survivors here.


Hiding in the City — Cancer Village, by Liu Bolin, 2013.



Liu Bolin: (b. 1973 in Shandong, China) is a performance artist and photographer known for immersing himself in environments for his work, earning him the nickname “The Invisible Man.”

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Rose Roberts says:

    Sigrun, I love the places and people you ‘introduce’ me to through your wonderful and thought-provoking blog. Thank you! With best wishes from Toronto, Canada, Rose

    1. Sigrun says:

      Dear Rose,
      thank you so much for stopping by and telling me!


  2. Alina says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for visiting me – I am so happy to “discover” your blog! Incredible images and very thought-provoking…

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you – and welcome!

  3. Rio says:

    His work is powerful, even without the political content. Thanks for sharing.
    Rio, also from Toronto 😊

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you, Rio – for lots of great comments throughout the year!
      Happy holidays!


  4. Jeanne says:

    How silence and invisible can produce more impact than a scream…vulgarity turns away and grace invites. Beautiful. J

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you &

      1. Jeanne says:

        To 2017!! All the best to you in the coming days…

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