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Beijing artist amazing flexible paper sculptures

Beijing Artist Li Hongbo tricks the eye with sculptures that look like marble but are made of paper.

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.

Li Hongbo’s artwork may look like porcelain or gypsum sculptures at first, but that’s only until he demonstrates how flexible they are. Beijing based artist, book designer and editor creates these busts and sculptures out of thousands of layers of glued thin paper. Hongbo builds the honeycomb-like structures by strategically placing the glue on each sheet of paper, and then gives the desired shape to it.

The idea comes from traditional Chinese paper decorations and toys that are flat at first but when pulled, may be extended into a proper shape. Li’s sculptures therefore work the other way round than the actual Chinese gourd toys, and transform from something fully shaped into something undefined and surrealistic.

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