Liu Bolin: Standing still, still Standing

Contemporary performance artist Beijing based Liu Bolin expresses himself by getting painted on his shoes, trousers, jacket, face and hair. A graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, Liu takes a stand, literally, against what he considers totalizing, unyielding forces, be it late capitalist, marketized consumerism or regimes of political command and control -- the individual in each case is annihilated, symbolized by the corporeal evaporation of the one standing alone in Liu’s performance art. Liu is often misunderstood, not surprisingly, by those not familiar with his work -- “He is the one who is standing only, and others are painting him with brushes in hand -- how is HE the artist!?”. In each of Liu’s performances, he is in complete control, not the ones holding the brushes. He locates the site, directs them (almost cinematic here) to do what they have to do, is fully responsible for the paint used, and above all, presents his bodily self as the canvas. Yes, he stands still, hope he is still standing.

Liu in his own words at a TED Worldwide Talent Search presentation:

Liu Bolin: Painting myself invisible

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10 Comments on "Liu Bolin: Standing still, still Standing"

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I find it quite ironic in many ways, that artists have to leave their native land to find an appreciative audience.

Michael K

this is quite clever. not understanding the purpose fully,but it is clever

have faith

I love contemporary art and this is great!


gotta love his patience


I am doing a prensentation on Liu Bolin. Specifically, his piece “Fading Out.” The piece shows a man standing in front of a brick wall that has Chinese characters painted on it. I thought it would be cool to include in the presentation what the characters say. Can anyone help me out?


I dont get it, but I like

Z Hintze

hye, thanks for the video link, it was nice to see his work and hear/see him talk too..

Echevarria de la Iglesia
Echevarria de la Iglesia

Maybe it is political but it is fun! I had to look really hard at the toy shelves..!


i think the people who paint him are very talented to make him blend into the background with such skill,,,kudos to the team