Photographs of “Invisible Man” Blending into Beijing Locations

After his Beijing studio was destroyed in 2005, artist Liu Bolin (AKA “The Invisible Man”) began a project titled “Hiding in the City” that show him blending into various locations around Beijing. The photographs aren’t Photoshopped — Bolin carefully has his body painted to blend in with each landscape. TIME writes,

Each image requires meticulous planning and execution: as both artist and performer, Bolin directs the photographer on how to compose each scene before entering the frame. Once situated, he puts on his Chinese military uniform, which he wears for all of his Invisible Man photographs, and, with the help of an assistant and painter, is painted seamlessly into the scene. This process can sometimes take up to ten hours with Bolin having to stand perfectly still. Although the end result of Bolin’s process is the photograph, the tension between his body and the landscape is itself a manifestation of China’s incredible social and physical change. [#]

Bolin’s work will be on display at Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery in New York City through May 11 in an exhibition titled Liu Bolin: Lost in Art. More of his photos can be seen over on the gallery’s website.

Liu Bolin (via TIME)

Image credits: Photographs by Liu Bolin. Courtesy of Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery

  • ChristianRudman

    I love meticulous SOOC shots! Hard work expertly done and it results in beautiful photographs.

  • Merv

    Massively impressive, but I can’t help feeling that the painter is more impressive than the photographer…

  • Jmasher85

    Merv, you’re totally right.  The process by which these were created is much more the point of these works of art than the photographic aspect.  The thought and labor that went into them, the social commentary of the Invisible Man blending into the scenery and being un-humanized by the world around him, are the crucial things here.  I saw these pictures at an exhibition at the Fotografiska in Stockholm, and it is worth seeing them in person, 4 feet tall, in full detail, just to appreciate how intricate they are.

  • Mari

    Most of the work is not photoshopped but I have seen a photoshopped image which I can’t find now. It was spotted last summer when Liu’s work was buzzing around the net. There were 2 images of Liu in Tiananmen Square, the one where he replaces Mao with himself and the other he’s somewhere else in the scene. Both images have the background flags and people in the same position. But I agree, the social commentary and process are the main thing. I also thought at the time it was a bit fun to figure out if other images were altered.

  • salemlbhats

    possibly be discovered hats shop cheaper

  • baseb

    have had a great deal of computer just lately. May that will similar baseball caps variety of good results possibly be around the corner towards the freezing shoreline associated with Lake Erie?

  • newamericanclassic

    the painter (and photog assistant) deserve more credit. I’m sure he chose the locations and directed the shots, but he seems like a prop.