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Liu Bolin: The Real Life Invisible Man

Meet Liu Bolin, the real-life Invisible Man from China, an artist with the ability to disappear in any surroundings.

Born in 1973 in Shandong and a graduate of Shandong Art College and Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, Liu Bolin became popular for his mastery at the art of camouflaging himself against virtually any background.

One single photo takes up to 10 hours to prepare - Liu uses himself as a blank canvas, and with a little help from an assistant, he paints his body to merge as seamlessly as possible with what is behind him. The results are incredible – sometimes passers-by don’t even realize he is around until he moves.

While his camouflage artworks are really mind blowing, he’s here with a message: “The situation for artists in China is very difficult and the forced removal of the artist’s studio is in fact my direct inspiration of this series of photographs, Hiding In The City…I am standing, but there is a silent protest, the protest against the environment for the survival, the protest against the state.”

So, let’s take a look at 20 amazing Liu Bolin’s camouflage photos, and if you’d like to have a printable version of his artworks you can find them here. (Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6)

1. Teatro Alla Scala

2. Suo Jia Village – Modern China

3. Graffiti

4. Bird’s Nest

5. Arles

6. Hiding In The City – Telephone

7. City Hiding

8. Forklifts

9. Shooting

10. Hiding In The City No. 34

11. City Hiding 53

12. Hiding In The City No. 2

13. Hiding In The City No. 62

14. Hiding In The City

15. City Hiding 27

16. Hiding In The City No. 31

17. Provisional Wall

18. Car

19. People’s Police

20. Government Finance Information Board

Camouflage Art by Liu Bolin (Part II)

Camouflage Art by Liu Bolin (Part III)

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What do you think?

  • Giulia

    Really impressive!! I just don’t understand how is it possible that in the first photo (the red one) his eyes seem to be opened…and painted?? It is an optical effect, I guess!! :)

  • AJSzilagyi

    at the forklifts one it took me a minute to find him XD

  • finmort blogspot

    it’s amazing what this man can do. total art work.

  • silence

    The first one is not “Teatro Alla Scalla” but “Teatro alla scala” whit one “l” :)

  • Chris

    Love “People’s Police”! blows my mind how well it’s done

  • Bored Panda

    @silence thanks!

  • Jan Willem

    Now, this is very special, great body paint artwork!



  • May

    Wow…. that’s wild. Truly amazing! Really puts on a spin on hiding to be heard.
    @BoredPanda. Unique post. Love your work!

  • David

    the invisible quality the photos have is amazing. How the heck does he manage to paint himself with only a “little” help from an assistant

  • Nisa

    Giulia.. no.. his eyes were closed

  • Pingback: More Incredible Camouflage Art by Liu Bolin | Bored Panda

  • Joachim Moncoq


  • Kardoman Tumangger

    Amazing. Great job…

  • Ariel Caudis


  • Karla Curry

    Incredible. I first saw this technique in the movie House of Cards when a little autistic girl paints herself to disappear.

  • Power

    i think forklifts is the best. took me a while

Author:   Date posted: Oct 12th, 2010
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