Liu Bolin is "Hiding" Again, Now at Soho's Eli Klein Gallery 

SSPNY Explores Eli Klein's Fine Arts Gallery, Showing Liu Bolin's Hiding Exhibition and Other Chinese Artists

SSPNY checks out one of the many jaw dropping pieces of Liu Bolin’s Hiding series exhibit. As seen here, an individual is overwhelmed and pushed behind consumerist society represented by a bunch of cereal boxes.

Unlike what you'll find in Nolita's energetic gallery scene, a Soho gallery-going adventure is generally a fool's quest. With only a few exceptions--the excellent Swiss Institute on lower Wooster comes to mind, and sometimes Opera Gallery has good solo shows--galleries in Soho function mainly as stores, selling brand name artists and trendy styles to tourists. Which is fine, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't exactly make for a particularly compelling art-viewing experience for us locals. 

SSPNY first looks at an artwork from Hiding in California, where  an individual is hidden in front of the iconic Hollywood sign.
SSPNY next takes a look at the rapid growth of technology that has consumed many individuals in today’s media culture. This one is not so obvious but if one looks carefully, a person is camouflaged behind the sea of cell phones.
That said, the always-interesting Liu Bolin just opened a solo exhibition at usually-interesting Eli Klein on West Broadway, featuring a handful of his delightful "Hiding" photographs as well as works from a new series, Mask, that uses the form of traditional Chinese opera masks, now plastered with the labels of that country's most popular junk food and sugary drinks. It's all instantly engaging and provocative--the theme of the individual overwhelmed by contemporary, consumerist society is pretty obvious, but well stated--and well worth stopping in to see the next time you're in Soho.                    
SSPNY heads to the piece Hiding in New York, where an individual is blended in with the mighty USS Intrepid.
The large-scale, high-definition photographs in Liu Bolin's Hiding series (pictured throughout this post) are technically amazing, forceful and clear in their message, and just plain fun to look at. As you can probably tell, to create these photos Bolin (or one of his friends, like the great French street artist JR, below, photos by Rhiannon Platt) stands in front of something iconic, or silly, or beautiful, and assistants paint his entire body to exactly match the background. In addition to the photographs at Eli Klein, the exhibition also has the complete remnants of one of Liu Bolin's Hiding shoots, a "set" of cereal boxes and the clothing Bolin was wearing, post-painting. Very cool. 
French street artist JR is being painted by Bolin’s assistants in order to exactly match the background.
JR Through the Eye of Liu Bolin features JR as part of the artwork itself, located on West Broadway between Houston and Prince Street, open every day from 1 AM to 7 PM, along with Chinese artists Shen Shaomin and Li Hui.
Liu Bolin's Mask exhibition will be on display at the Eli Klein Gallery through July 21. Liu Bolin is located on West Broadway between Houston and Prince and is open every day from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Oh and don't skip the pieces in the downstairs space by two other Chinese artists Shen Shaomin and Li HuiMore info about everything can be found here.  


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