It would be difficult to overstate the subtle beauty and ingeniously of Li Hongbo’s flexible paper sculptures. This is absolutely the coolest and most surprising paper engineering I have yet to come across!
Li Hongbo is a Chinese, Beijing-based paper artist with a background in design, who uses over-familiar subjects such as Renaissance master pieces, busts or objects of classical European style in his art. His mesmerizing, stretchable paper sculptures are influenced by his fascination for traditional Chinese decorations known as “paper gourds”. Using a monochrome white palette, these paper artworks center not only around beauty, but also around attentive craftsmanship and transformation.
The texture and technique in these artworks are complemented by the artist’s compassion for paper. Li Hongbo discovered the density, flexibility and durability of various papers while working as a book editor. Implementing these insights and combining them with his genius mind and sculpture background, Hongbo has given birth to a revolutionary new paper experience. At first glance, Hongbo’s sculptures appear solid, but when stretched, spread, twisted, elongated or retracted they remarkably transform into amorphous shapes. Some artworks involve thousands of sheets of paper and months of work.
Hongbo has stated that he wants people to reconsider the nature of objects. Li Hongbo’s sculpture of David, for example, radiates an undeniable majesty with a plaster-like feel, but the experience of paper is clear once it is transformed. The viewer is pleasantly surprised by the revelation of a refined Chinese paper technique of many glued layers of paper in a honeycomb-like structure. The effect of reshaping David’s head into extraordinary, almost alien-like, forms and then folding it back into its original shape is stunningly impressive!
I can totally imagine myself playing with these paper sculptures for hours and hours and more…. I added this interview video to celebrate Li Hongbo’s flexible paper sculptures. Enjoy!
Courtesy video Crane TV