Exploring the new territory of Post-Internet Art, world-renowned Chinese artist Liu Bolin is art hacking New York at the end of November. His new body of work consists of artistic appropriations of classical Masterpieces — da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Picasso's Guernica — juxtaposed with a photograph of the devastating impact of the Tianjin explosions. Realizing the Hacker project, Liu Bolin recreates the famous images by using complicated and precise hand-painted camouflage, including scores of hiding human subjects at his canvases.
Liu Bolin formerly known as Liu Bo is one of the world famous Chinese contemporary artists. Born in China’s Shandong province in 1973, Liu Bolin earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Shandong College of Arts and the Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. From 2007 his work has been exhibited regularly in museum shows worldwide, including numerous solo exhibitions in all meridians. Liu Bolin's post internet multimedia artwork is included in highly prestigious individual, corporate, foundation, and museum collections around the world — the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; M+Sigg Collection, Hong Kong; Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; 21St Century Photographs Collection, Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University; The Gold Museum, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Italy, and Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME.
At his most intriguing artwork that will be presented at the New York show – Guernica, Liu Bolin recreated the imagery of human suffering and devastation of war by reliving the history of the Spanish civil war after 80 years, and make a contemporary plea for humanity and freedom. By the series of physical and hyperlinked images, the Bolin explores the theme of illusionism, privacy in both online and offline formats, the man-made, the fabricated, and the deceptive, through which he protrudes into the mass production and circulation of information in order to question where the power lies in today’s ubiquitous networking.
Reviewing the Mona Lisa in 2016, Liu Bolin inscribed himself into the masterpiece as well as its historical legacy, by reminding us a fact that the canvas was stolen from the Louvre more than 100 years ago. Bolin reenacts the “disappearing and reappearing” of the work through techniques behind the network. Bolin is challenging the viewer to question what is above and beneath the surface, while the works are always reflecting the complex relationship between the past and the present, the reality and the illusion, the false and the true. Thus, he creates an individual history of the famous art pieces.
While analyzing the impact of the Internet, Liu Bolin delves into all aspects in digital realm, blurring the boundary between art and technology, which is evident in his installation Livestream Vest (2016). The multiple smartphones attached onto a life jacket are turned on the front cameras in the unstoppable live-stream of reflecting and broadcasting. Therefore, space installation turns quasi-invisible jacket into a part of the social or home environment.
The solo exhibition Art Hacker presenting one of the most-renowned Chinese artists - Liu Bolin, opens at November 17 and lasts untill December 23, 2016 at Klein Sun Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York 10011. The space is open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm.
Featured images: Liu Bolin - Guernica, 2016 detail 1; Liu Bolin - Guernica, 2016 detail 2; Liu Bolin - Tianjin Explosion, 2016, detail. All images courtesy of Klein Sun Gallery © Liu Bolin