‘The Invisibility Of Poverty’ Artwork By Kevin Lee

In 2008, UNICEF China began a campaign to raise awareness about the “invisibility of poverty” affecting children in China. In a series of poignant photographs, related to the campaign called ‘The Invisibility of Poverty’, homeless children in Beijing were painted identical to their surroundings so that they were almost indiscernible from the cityscape around them.

Invisibility of Poverty

The most popular of these photos is one of a boy sitting on a set of stone steps, painted so meticulously that one might have to do a double-take to appreciate what it is they are seeing truly. They may even stumble and trip upon him or walk right past without giving him any notice, if not for the sign sitting at his side that reads “Don’t ignore me” in bold Chinese characters. In smaller script, printed underneath is a message highlighting the plight of over 1.5 million underprivileged children in China. With these photographs, UNICEF raised the equivalent of approximately $30,000 USD for the aid of suffering children in only five days.

Invisibility of Poverty

Though the campaign was launched almost 16 years ago, these images have begun to circulate the internet again recently and continue to touch thousands of people

Photography and body painting by Kevin Lee, Haohui Zhou, and Bin Liu