Li Hongbo is an artist based in Beijing, China and creates unusual and surprising art pieces from paper. A designer and book editor, Li Hongbo started collecting and experimenting with his ideas with paper after being inspired by the festive ‘paper gourd’ decorations and traditional Chinese boys’ toys. These pieces have a simple but amazing ‘honeycomb’ composition and can be molded into any shape.
He takes thousands of paper sheets and glues them together to make a large block of paper. He then carves into the paper by using an electronic saw and makes a stretchable form, just like an accordion. This transforms the final piece into something very different from the original pieces of paper. From a distance, these pieces look like they are made of porcelain or marble. However, these characteristic changes when the pieces are stretched and expanded. It is possible to snap everything back to its original position after the expansion without losing the qualities of the sculpture.
The pieces continue to amaze many visitors to the galleries, where they are exhibited, with many wishing they had a chance to play with the pieces. Apart from the art, Li spends lots of time writing about Buddhist paper art.
Video: Statues in Motion
Li Hongbo has appeared in several major exhibitions such as the SCAD Museum of Art, Beijing Minsheng Museum and 18th Biennale of Sydney in 20120, for which he created thousands of brightly colored paper flowers in the beautiful scenery. However, when the flowers are flattened, they reveal hidden weapons such as AK 47s and pistols. The artist also has several private collections and has the White Rabbit Collection, the Central Academy of Fine Arts at the Beijing and Found Museum in Beijing.
Photos of paper sculptures