Li Hongbo, ‘Young Man’, 2012, Dominik Mersch Gallery

About Li Hongbo

Fascinated by what he describes as “the endless possibilities of paper,” Li Hongbo collapses folk craft and high art in his beguiling sculptures and installations, made of thousands of individual sheets of this ancient material, paper. The artist's work as a book editor and designer sparked the artist’s interest in paper in all its varieties. This, combined with his training as a sculptor and his appreciation of the expandable honeycomb structures of traditional Chinese paper decorations, inspired him to experiment. He models his own works after these ubiquitous decorations. By gluing together up to tens of thousands of individual sheets, Li builds blocks of paper that he carves into human figures, objects, and replicas of Classical Greek and Italian busts. While they look solid, a tug reveals their Slinky-like capability to stretch, bend, and morph into a myriad of grotesque and humorous deformations.

Chinese, b. 1974, Siping City, Jilin, China, based in Beijing, China