Taken at face value, Liu Bolin's photography seems cool because he paints himself and his subjects to blend in to their surroundings, but there is so much more at play.
In 2005, Bolin's village in Suo Jia Cun, Beijing was destroyed by the Beijing police because the government did not approve of artists living and working with one another. This started his "Hiding in the City" series, the first of which was a photo of him painted to blend in with one of the demolished studios. Each subsequent photo presented silent commentary on the sociopolitical climate of China. In this TED Talk, Bolin discusses his work since 2005 and what it really means to disappear: "By making myself invisible, I try to question the inter-canceling our civilization and its development... I used this work to express my objection. I also want to use this work to let more people pay attention to the living condition of artists and the condition of their creative freedom."