L I U   B O L I N

HIDING IN THE CITY

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Oct. 24th- Dec. 8th
Exhibition open by appointment only please email for further information.


LIU BOLIN
HIDING IN THE CITY - Head Portrait, 2012
Photograph
90x120cm
Edition 2 of 8

Hiding in the City began as performance art protesting the 2005 destruction of Suo Jia Cun. On November 16th 2005, the Chinese government forcibly demolished Suo Jia Cun, which had been named the largest congregation of artists in Asia. I was working there at the time, so I began this series, protesting the atrocity of the government. I wanted to use my works to show that the artists and their living places had not been protected. The stillness of my body during the production of the work is a silent protest. The insistence of my body and its resistance to movement and nature are both reflected in my work. I’m fighting for freedom and for the social status of the artist with my body.

Concern for contemporary China is an important theme in my work. I am trying to ask, “How is our society developing? What are our societal problems? Where is China going?” In the communistic dream, slogans are necessary to clean the public’s brain, creating the kind of people we need: uniform thoughts and the promotion of certain educational ideas are written as slogans across the walls.

I have chosen for my body to be covered and erased; that’s not the relationship between me and the wall, but the relationship between me and an individual and those slogans, which are used to fool the public. In China, we get used to these slogans. I choose to camouflage my body into the environment so that people will pay more attention to the background’s societal property by erasing the meaning of my body as an individual.

I choose locations that represent the process of China’s development, so I can pursue this interaction between social development and individual life. I try to map every single step of China’s development when making decisions for locations. In one aspect, my work is a historical record; there are some slogans, which were used in the Cultural Revolution that we are still using now.

I experienced four years of hardship and depression before turning to life as a full-time artist. I used to think I was meaningless, and this work is my way to express myself and find meaning. Social politics have always been the main theme of my work. I didn’t have these thoughts at the very beginning; my only aim was to follow my instincts and wait to see what would happen. I still do not know if this directly relates to politics or not, I only know that I’m speaking honestly.

Liu Bolin