Ruinart Unveils 2018 Annual Artist Collaboration With Liu Bolin


The House of Ruinart unveiled its 2018 artist collaboration on March 8 in Paris. The world’s first established champagne house chose world-renowned Chinese artist Liu Bolin, “The Invisible Man,” as this year’s artist in residence.

Bolin is famous for his commitment to environmental and social awareness. He created an eight-image series emphasizing the invisible imprint of human labor during his ten-day stay at Maison Ruinart. Bolin’s work will be displayed at art fairs around the world, including at Frieze New York in May.The series shows Bolin camouflaged against various backgrounds in Maison Ruinart. The disappearing human bodies in the series comment on the expertise of the people who work behind closed doors to make champagne. The series showcases the invisible links between human hands and nature that go into the production of Ruinart Champagne.

“When you see a bottle of Ruinart, it’s hard to imagine the many complex processes that are required to produce it. Ruinart was the first established champagne house. Its history and its values, which are almost three hundred years old, imbue the daily production process.”—Liu Bolin.

The Secret Crayère. This was Bolin’s first image of the series. It depicts ancient inscriptions representing Ruinart’s history that are found in the cellars.
Hiding in the Vineyards with the Ruinart Cellar Master. Bolin’s second image was created a few days before the harvest. It showcases the origin of champagne—the nature in which the ingredients come from.
Deep Underground. This is a deep underground passage in Maison Ruinart, leading from the vineyards to the cellars. Bolin used this location because the passage represents the transition from the crop to the production of the champagne.
Hiding in the Blanc de Blancs Crayère. This image was created in the chalk cellar. It represents the manual riddling technique of the champagne creation process that is done in the cellar.
Hiding in the Gyropalettes with Pablo. Bolin showcased gyropalette-riddling machines with this image. He spoke with an employee who operates these machines. This piece emphasizes the work that is done by hand during the production of champagne.
Disgorgement Production Line with Workers. Bolin created this image in response to his fascination with people who produce. The image is reminiscent of science fiction.
Hiding in Mucha Posters. Bolin chose this background as a dedication to art, which is essential to his work. This piece is also a testament to Alpha Mucha—the first artist Ruinart collaborated with—who created these posters.
Lost in Blanc de Blancs Bottles. Bolin’s final image in the series features a lot of champagne bottles—the final step in the production of champagne. This was the most difficult photograph Bolin ever produced because he had to paint the front and back of himself due to the mirrors and reflections.