With bright red acrylic paint smeared in their hair, the subjects of Chinese artist Liu Bolin’s latest work pose side-by-side in a scene that evokes one of China’s most historically significant battles.
Liu finished his latest work “CHIBI – No BLOOD” as part of his “TARGET” series in Hong Kong in two days this week, depicting the Battle of Red Cliffs or Battle of Chibi, a bloody encounter in 208 AD, which foreshadowed the end of the Han dynasty.
Better known as the “Invisible Man,” Liu has, perhaps paradoxically, attracted international attention by camouflaging himself in images in his “Hiding in the City” series.
His latest work employs 18 people from diverse backgrounds who, painted head to toe in red and yellow, blend into the backdrop of an ancient painting, “Red Cliff” by Jin dynasty artist Wu Yuanzhi, from the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
Liu chose Hong Kong to unveil his work as a comment on the city’s political evolution.
“Hong Kong has always had a special place in history as an intersection of the East and the West. I think it [my work] can provide an opportunity for people to discuss Hong Kong’s reality, history and future problems and others all over the world,” he says.
Liu has been discussing social and political issues, as well as the relationship between the individual and society since the mid-2000s.
His past works include painting himself inside a supermarket in Pyongyang, North Korea, and a collaboration with the UN where he blended into the flags of the 193 UN countries.