Li Hongbo: Pure White Paper

Art Life , Exhibitions Dec 14, 2012 1 Comment

From Andrew Frost

Li Hongbo is a master of the medium of paper sculpture. Using the traditional Chinese technique of ‘paper gourd’ Li Hongbo creates stacks of interconnected sheets of paper in large blocks that are then carved into various shapes. With apparently no limit on size, the sculptures range from life-size heads, skulls and busts to elongated bodies, to more minimal forms such as blocks of wood and tree forms. In Skull, the artist has given the paper the appearance of marble and in Girl 1 the edges of the sculpture has a rough edge as if chiseled from stone.

The big twist of these works is literal – by pulling and lifting the concertinaed paper the inside ‘honeycomb’ is revealed and the form elongates and stretches. In Girl 1 the theatrical illusion of the form is immediately apparent but in pieces such as Wooden Cube 1 the effect is subtler, providing a nice double take on what appears to be solid wood but what is revealed to be mere artifice. Bigger works such as Flexible Woman and Flexible Human are admirable pieces of craft but their strength is their creeping suggestion of the uncanny, a sensation brought to fullest form in Skull.

Until December 22
Dominik Mersch Gallery, Waterloo.
Pic: Li Hongbo, Skull, 2012, paper, glue, edition of 1, dimensions compounded 24x16x18cm.

Andrew Frost

One Comments

  1. These highly crafted sheets of pure white paper are indeed a puzzle to the eye and encourage further investigation. You have the appearance of solid weight like plaster for the Skull and the concertina spread of the legs in Girl 1 and other works that give a hint of their make up.

    quite amazing and not lazer cut!!

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