"Supermarket in Pyongyang": The Invisibility of Liu Bolin in North Korea

"Supermarket in Pyongyang": The Invisibility of Liu Bolin in North Korea

A detailed analysis of Liu Bolin's work that captures the complexity of North Korean reality.

Liu Bolin, known as the "invisible man" of modern art, has extended his series of urban camouflages to one of the most isolated and controlled corners of the world: Pyongyang, North Korea. In his work "Supermarket in Pyongyang," Bolin literally blends into the shelves of a North Korean supermarket, offering profound reflection on the themes of consumerism and visibility.

Context and Inspiration:

The work fits into the broader "Hiding in the City" series, through which Bolin uses body painting to dissolve into urban environments, reflecting on globalization, identity, and surveillance. This particular work is significant for its ability to question the nature of freedom and expression in such a tightly controlled context.

Artistic Analysis:

"Supermarket in Pyongyang" shows Bolin perfectly camouflaged in front of shelves filled with products, in a country known for its scarcity of goods. The image challenges the viewer to search for the hidden artist, metaphorically highlighting how little is seen or known about North Korean reality from the outside.

Cultural Impact:

This work by Bolin not only captures attention for its technical mastery but also for its strong emotional and cultural impact, raising questions about what is visible and what remains hidden in contemporary societies, especially those under authoritarian regimes.

"Supermarket in Pyongyang" is more than just an artistic performance; it is a powerful commentary on society, politics, and humanity. Liu Bolin continues to use his art to push observers to look beyond the surface, stimulating critical reflection on the world around us.

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