Lui Bolin is a committed artist. He is, among other things, very much a chameleon. His art is performed, thoughtful and provocative because he is challenging the way traditional art is created/received. By subverting the expected view one would or should have while looking at a piece of art, Bolin’s ghosty talent also allows one to question the role of the artist as well. The art and the artist are one in the same but somehow most of the focus is on the art rather than its creator.
Bolin’s selected backgrounds and scenes also ask the question of what role does a person play in a dictatorship. The circumstances around that question are not very clear because the issue of whether the art is actually in China or not isn’t answered forthright but the theme can resonate with people everywhere. What are our roles in within a state or nation or sanctioned so-called democratic society? Political views set aside, this gets at the very heart of what is the right of a human being. If you take Bolin’s art literally, the view is bleak at the very least. Transparent, ghost-like and constantly moving, is his permeable body significant in this light? Is Bolin adding to political discourse by exemplifying what his view is or is he merely just a ghost who spooks?
By: Sarah MacDonald