Curatorial partners Mehta Bell Projects present 'The Disappearing Act' a unique performance by Liu Bolin as one of the highlight projects of START 2017. Whilst the iconic photographic artworks by the artist are much acclaimed and collected, Bolin has often referred to his practice as a performance, yet curiously there is very little live exposure of these physical performances. It is this fascinating aspect of the artist's oeuvre that will be explored in this revealing discussion with the artist himself, curators Mehta Bell Projects and moderator Farah Nayeri from the New York Times. This will be the first time that Bolin's work will be showcased as a time-based performance in the context of an art fair and this talk is not to be missed!
The Disappearing Act: Performance in the Work of Liu Bolin
Saturday 16th September
3pm Gallery 10
For START 2017 Liu Bolin will present a mesmerising performance. He will pose against a specially commissioned sculptural backdrop designed by the artist and made from thousands of Lego bricks sponsored by Brick Live. Although this facet of Bolin's work is rarely presented in public, it is the performative element that is truly at the heart of the artist's practice and concept of his 'invisible man'. As captivating as they are, his beautiful photographs are essentially documentation of Bolin's laborious and physically demanding process. Very often it is misunderstood that his photographs are digitally manipulated to 'blend' him into his background. However in actual fact, what makes these artworks truly enthralling is that the artist has painstakingly posed right in front of his chosen backdrop, while his carefully directed team embark on the scrupulous task of gradually painting him in to the background, by hand and in situ. Over the duration of the art fair the artist will don his signature military suit, and the audience will witness the artist gradually 'disappearing' into the intricate Lego background brick by brick. His highly skilled team of painters will meticulously emulate the complex background, painting over the entirety of the artist, until he is completely camouflaged.
About Liu Bolin
Liu Bolin was born in 1973 in China's Shandong province and attended the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2001 and received a Master of Fine Arts degree. He is one of the country's most acclaimed and established artists. Bolin's practice has been influenced by the dramatic developments that have occurred in Asia in recent years and his series of photographs capture the fears, frustrations and the cultural, political and social issues that have gradually accumulated since the Cultural Revolution in China.
About Mehta Bell Projects
Mehta Bell Projects are the first curatorial partner for START art fair. Founders Jag Mehta and Melissa Digby-Bell share a combined knowledge of over twenty years of specialist industry experience ranging from blue-chip institutions to emerging global art scenes, Mehta Bell Projects offer a fresh perspective on the contemporary art world. They take a uniquely creative and holistic approach to curation, collection building, art sales, consultancy, artist and project management. Mehta Bell Projects provide a professional, comprehensive, and accessible service within the complex and highly nuanced contemporary art scene. Consistently discovering and nurturing exciting artistic talent, Mehta Bell Projects attract forward- thinking clients and creatives to further invigorate contemporary art platforms.