Over the Influence is pleased to present New Change, a major new exhibition of Chinese artist Liu Bolin in Hong Kong. Featuring new sculptures, photographs derived from over five years of performances, and a live performance at an off-site venue, the show continues the artist’s ongoing exploration of critical issues and political controversies across the globe. Timed to coincide with Art Week in Hong Kong, New Change will open on March 28 and runs until April 27, 2019. An opening reception for the artist will be held at the gallery from 6 to 8pm on March 28, 2019.
Known as “Invisible Man”, Liu Bolin has become internationally recognized for developing a unique visual composition that exemplifies the relationship between contemporary life and the urban environment. Fusing sculpture, performance and photography, Liu’s work keeps pushing the transformative potential of the individual and collective expressions of resistance, and investigates diverse themes from ancestral traditions and cultural symbols to ecological damage and consumerist societies, exposing a specific moment of global development.
At first glance, Liu’s photographs seem to be only of unique locations - a rack of Mexican wrestling masks for sale or a pile of municipal waste. On closer inspection, an outline of a man appears, precisely painted in camouflage and hiding in the open. Captivating audiences around the world since its inauguration in 2015, this series came out of political protest against the demolition of an artist compound in Beijing. Being unable to object in the open, the artist came up with an anonymous form of protest which he still practices today.
For his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, New Change is anchored in the artist’s reflections on the abundance of capitalism and the destructiveness of consumerism, particularly on the environment. Included in the show is a new work immortalized from a performance in a surprisingly abundant Pyongyang supermarket with shelves fully stocked with iconic ceremonial objects and groceries from the region. Another work from 2015 sees Liu melted into the flags of the 193 UN countries, raising awareness of the UN’s Global Goals to end extreme poverty and to fight inequality, injustice and climate change.
A metaphor for the condition of today’s citizens who feel invisible to the greater powers of consumerism and urbanization, Liu Bolin’s sociopolitical works constantly provides examinations of the binaries between the city’s inhabitants and their surrounding environment, vision and reality, and illusion and truth. The relational dynamic touches a topical nerve that encourages the audience to contemplate their position when building a shared future.