Report From Art Basel: Chinese Artist Liu Bolin and Ruinart ‘Disappear’ From the Cultural Cognoscenti
Images by Samantha Nandez, BFA.com
In the whirlwind of Art Basel soirees hitting South Florida this week, renowned Chinese artist Liu Bolin, who is sometimes known as the “Invisible Man,” performed a live exhibition, as he was painted amongst a large scale installation of the Ruinart iconic rounded champagne bottles. Cognoscenti from the fashion, art and philanthropy worlds gathered in the Miami Botanical Garden to witness his creation process firsthand.
Partygoers included Shea Marie, Andres Fanjul, TK Quann, Aureta Thomollari, Vik Muniz, Carlos Bentancourt, Soledad Lowe, Christie Ferrari, Eliza Mcknitt, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Alexander Lynx, David Castillo, Ezra J William, Umberta Gusalli Beretta and Olivia Perez, amongst many others. As they watched the behind-the-scenes look at Bolin’s meticulous artistic method, guest sipped Ruinart’s beloved Rosé, paired with canapes from Michelle Bernstein and tunes by DJ Timo Weiland.
Even those who didn’t score an invite to the swanky soiree were able to immerse themselves in the world of Ruinart x Liu Bolin via an installation at the Ruinart Lounge at Art Basel. Additionally, a Bolin-inspired tasting menu will be available at Cantonese hotspot Hakkasan.
After the bash, Blackbook had the chance to chat up Bolin, for some insight into his first live installation at Art Basel Miami.
How did you come up with the concept of the “Invisible Man”?
Since 9/11/2001 I was thinking about my body and how I could become invisible within society, as there are a lot of conflictive ideas between humans and society. My idea of disappearing into society reflects a lot of those conflicts.
Was it difficult to break into the Western art market as a Chinese artist?
After the Beijing Olympics, China has developed at an accelerated pace. And since then, a lot of art and artists have been more easily promoted, making the environment much easier now.
What would your dream project be?
Anything man can create I can blend into – and I’m interested in these kinds of challenges. At the moment, though, I haven’t really thought of any one challenge in particular.
How do you choose your background, and is there a larger message with each project?
In regards to having any purpose or meaning to the environment I choose, it doesn’t necessarily require a meaning in the beginning. As long as I can blend in to something it will acquire a meaning.
What do you think of the artistic movement of gender fluidity, where the subject is undefined by race or gender – and how does that compare with your artistic medium of being invisible?
For me it’s not important. Everybody has a choice.
How did you become involved with Ruinart?
The history of Ruinart really interests me, as well as their support of the arts and artists.
What are your current projects?
Next year I have several exhibitions coming up in Italy, France, Hong Kong, Israel, and Australia.