The art of camouflage will be on show, or hidden, for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale which last night named Chinese photographer Liu Bolin as its international featured photographer.
Liu's photographs of models hidden in colourful scenes are a bid to draw both art lovers and young families and children in to the BIFB world, and it will be the first time his work has been shown in Australia.
"Liu's astonishing work has long grappled with the concerns facing a globalised world. Combining body art, optical art, living sculpture and photography, Bolin's work turns disappearance into an active expression of resistance," said BIFB artistic director Fiona Sweet.
As a festival we are very well known around the world ... and when we approach artists to exhibit they are super excited to do it.Fiona Sweet
The 2019 BIFB will run for 60 days from August 23 to October 20, twice as long as previous biennales.
Ms Sweet said the extended program was in response to demand from photographers and visitors.
"When we commission these really significant artists to exhibit in Ballarat, and none of them have exhibited before in Australia, they want it to run. The more significant the artist the longer they expect to exhibit," she said.
The 2019 event will also be significant as the first for the National Centre for Photography in Lydiard St, which will be home to four exhibitions throughout the BIFB program.
"As a festival we are very well known around the world ... and when we approach artists to exhibit they are super excited to do it," Ms Sweet said.
"That's a very good thing for Ballarat to know. Sometimes people don't realise when they are in their own town what they have got in the town and how important it is. It's quite a surprise to a lot of people, and it's easy for us to negotiate with major artists because they have seen the BIFB history and want to be part of it."
Also headlining the BIFB will be a mid-career retrospective of the photographic works of indigenous photographer Dr Fiona Foley, with another program highlight being To The Moon and Back, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing which will be held at the Ballarat Observatory.
In all about 100 exhibitions will be shown in about 65 venues across Ballarat as part of the BIFB, the seventh to have been held in the city.
Every one of them will be free to view except the Liu Bolin exhibition which will be held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Ms Sweet said the art of photography would take over the city for 60 days with talks and walks, outdoor exhibitions, a mini jazz festival, film festival and a "wrapped" laneway to give the impression of a giant melting iceberg.
The full 2019 BIFB program was launched on Wednesday night in Melbourne.
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