China, what kind of development?
Tosetti Value S.I.M. is pleased to present a selection of works chosen from among the most significant of Lui Bolin’s output.
The Chinese artist, a witness, together with his generation, of China’s enormous economic growth and changes in its political order during the Nineties, allows us to adopt a critical, gradually broader and more in-depth view of this country. Bolin does so by inverting the experience of the observer, who sees his expectations turned about-face. His are not images of a China which could seem remote to us, as much as disciplined and exact visuals of an Italy filtered by his own view and cultural background. It is an open invitation to a greater awareness of our heritage and of how this is perceived.
With his “Social Sculptures” a combination of performance art, photography, sculpture and painting, Liu Bolin reflects on the relationship between man and nature, between political thought and power, showing us the importance of a sense of belonging to one’s roots and the choice of “being inside” rather than “being against” in order to move towards change. “Camouflaging myself is a declaration of belonging to the context and, at the same time, of self-protection from the anxieties of modern society”.
The exhibition starts with a reflection on those identifying “colours” that underscore a key to interpreting Bolin’s social and artistic commitment (the same colours used by the artist in the first three works on show here). It continues with the last ten years of the artist’s output with the seminal series “Hiding in the city”, the “Hiding in Italy” part of the series, and the “Fade in Italy” cycle, the work with which in 2014 the artist focused on companies and places that have become symbols of Italian creativity and production. The aim of the latter is to provide food for thought about interchanges between the two countries, from visual culture to consumption patterns.
Verona, Venice, Milan, Rome and Pompeii are the places chosen by the artist to explore Italy’s cultural heritage, and a chance to come face to face with the classical world he had observed and studied during his academic training as a sculptor.
Liu begins with his own story then takes a broader look at the cultural dialectics between two countries so profoundly different in the management of their heritages, yet called on to enter into an increasingly intense dialogue to find answers to development that entwines both their destinies.
If camouflage is not the essence of Bolin’s work, but the instrument for the message he wants to transmit, the camouflage garment becomes a veritable “uniform”. Thus the allusion to the almost military discipline needed for the perfect outcome of the work underlines the “civic commitment” that informs his poetics and artistic practice.
October 2016 / January 2017