Liu belongs to the generation that came of age in the early 1990s, when China emerged from the rubble of the Cultural Revolution and was beginning to enjoy rapid economic growth and relative political stability.
Since his first solo shows in Beijing in 1998, Liu Bolin's work has received international recognition. Among other international venues, his distinctive photographs and sculptures have been shown at the major contemporary photography festival Les Rencontres d'Arles and he had solo shows at Dashanzi Art Zone in Beijing (2007), Galerie Bertin-Toublanc in Paris (2007), Klein Sun Gallery in New York (2008), Galerie Paris-Beijing in Paris and Brussels (2013), Boxart Gallery in Verona (2008), Forma Foundation for Photography in Milan (2010), H. C. Andersen Museum in Rome (2012).
Bolin was moved to create his "Hiding in the City" series after the Chinese Beijing Artist village Suo Jia Cun in November 2005. At the time of this destruction, Liu Bolin had been working in Suo Jia Cun, which had been previously named Asia's largest congregation of artists. Prompted by his emotional response to the demolition of this site, Liu decided to use his art as a means of silent protest, calling attention to the lack of protection Chinese artists had received from their own government. Through the use of his own body in his practice of painting himself into various settings in Beijing, Liu created a space for the Chinese Artist, preserving their social status and highlighting their often troubled relationship with their physical surroundings.
Liu Bolin followed up his Beijing series of "Hiding in the City" with two derivative series of performances captured in Venice, Milan, Rome, Pompeii, Verona and New York City. Following the method of painting himself into the cityscapes, Liu chose Italy for its significance within the Western art tradition and New York City for the potency of the underlying conflicts between humans and the objects they create. The first derivative series, on going since 2008, was titled "Hiding in Italy" and was collected into the solo exhibition "Liu Bolin. A Secret Tour", at H. C. Andersen Museum in Rome, curated by Raffaele Gavarro in 2012. In Service to this project, Liu painted himself into such socially-loaded backgrounds as Wall Street and the Tiles for America 9/11 memorial.
In June 2011, Liu Bolin created his Hiding in New York series, in which he incorporated iconic New York sites into his work.
In February 2012, Klein Sun Gallery, which represents the Artist together with Boxart Gallery, announced a collaborative project between Liu Bolin and designers Gaultier, Valentino, Lanvin and Missoni that was featured in the March 2012 issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine. Following the success of his series of works camouflaging prominent people into backgrounds, he collaborated with the French art star JR. He was also featured as a prominent Artist in a Newsweek profile titled Eli Klein on Riding the Wave of China's Contemporary Art Scene.
On the South Pier, at the Port of Catania, is recovered aground the first boat that in 2013 carried migrants from Africa to the coasts of Catania. Among them, six children Egyptians, exhausted for the trip on that vessel, were tragically drowned trying to reach the seashore, a few meters far from the Lido Beach Green (Lido Verde). The Artist chose to merge his body with the wreck and the history of which he is a silent witness for his first shot of the MIGRANTS project, dated 2015, supported by Boxart gallery. The scenario of the tragedy evoked by the first work, the Lido Verde, provides the second background to the Liu Bolin's photographic project. "Being immigrants lying on the sand," says the Artist, "for someone they may seem dead; instead my intent is to describe their arrival and the start of their Future."