Sculptures make a move: paper art of Li Hongbo

Can a simple piece of paper make a worldwide art sensation? 

Well, it certainly can! Artist Li Hongbo is a living proof of that statement. His sculptures may seem static and silent, but they have a hidden ability to stretch. 

Made of entirely paper and glue, these amusing sculptures are not just the 

figments of artist’s imagination. They have deep connection with Chinese culture and powerful message, that you can actually observe in action.

The materials Li Hongbo uses for his sculptures are very symbolic to China. Tradition of making paper toys and lanterns goes way back in centuries. Li Hongbo discovered the flexibility of these materials and method and decided to use it to make a figure. He chose to make a gun. 

“A gun is solid, used for killing, but I turned it into a tool for play or decoration. In this way, it lost both the form of a gun and the culture inherent to a gun. It became a game.”

He questions our perception of the surrounding objects, as well as our security about the world around. We see static figures, and completely lost the usual and comfortable image of them, when Li Hongbo’s sculptures descend into moving. The world is not static, yet we adopt it to our tastes and make it static. The freedom lies withing the

openness to the idea of a plastic and perpetually changing environment. And not only the objective reality, but also the cognitive field. 

By working primarily with familiar and quite “classical” objects, he creates a controversy between the long-living image of them in viewer’s mind and the unexpected dynamic concept he puts in the sculptures. 

In the end, it is not only the viewers who observe the exhibits, it is the sculptures that studies our reactions. Reactions to something being not what it seem and what we used to. 

The beautiful unity of the traditions and intellectual games that challenges our comfortable viewpoint on the world creates truly unique works of art, that have being acknowledged by the audience, as well as by art-critiques all over the globe. 

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