The Klein Sun Gallery in Chelsea is currently presenting several new painted sculptures, photographs, and lightboxes by Liu Bolin for his exhibition titled A Colorful World?
The works in this show reflect the many colorful advertisements, and consumer goods that mask our understanding of oppression and justice in today’s world.
One notable work in this show is a sculpture called In Junk Food No. 3 that’s shaped like a fist and is covered in wrappers of various types of cigarettes, drinks, chips, and candy. The fist represents the overbearing and misleading influence these foods have; they’re presented in bright colorful packages to convey that it tastes good and will make one happy when in reality, it could hurt one’s health. The colorful packaging is used to make the product appealing and will therefore lead to financial gain for the companies.
A similar piece titled Security Check No. 1 depicts a man standing on a platform with his feet hip-distance apart and raising his arms as if he’s being screened by security at an airport or other important checkpoint. He too, is covered in wrappers of junk food and cigarette packaging, but presenting it this way, in the form of a person being screened, represents injustice occurring daily. Using the full-body scanners as a measure to ensure safety can be invasive to a person’s privacy, and fails to serve its purpose as proven with the recent disasters of the Malaysian Airliner MH370 and MH17, as well as the Algerie Flight AH5017.
Bolin’s series of photographs titled Cancer Village addresses the effects of the destructive illness and how little is being done in local communities to raise awareness and to help prevent it. One of the largest photographs in the series features a group of 23 villagers camouflaged into a backdrop of an area of farmland with an ominous chemical factory in the background. The people in the photograph have all been affected by an increase in cancer’s death rate, and their invisibility is a symbol of how they in their positions as factory workers are being ignored by the upper class.
At the Klein Sun Gallery, 525 W. 25th St., through Nov. 1. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Article by Alison Martin