Paper Art by Li Hongbo – The Making

A former book editor and designer, trained in a variety of artistic fields from Fine to Folk and Experimental art, Li Hongbo plays with the appearances and connotations of paper. The material is to him an endless source of inspiration and interpretation. Li Hongbo observed that honeycomb paper is a folk art present in many aspects of life in China, from children’s toys to festive decorations. Dismantling one such object, he discovered how simply it is made and the amazing flexibility, resilience and strength of the paper material once built into layers of hexagonal cubes. The artist reproduces the mechanical process manually, making it a painstaking craft, which requires a whole new level of perfection to achieve the machine made rendering. The thousands of layers of brown paper are cut, folded and glued together to look just like what they originated from: wood. The artist then carves the block of paper as if he was sculpting wood. Common brown paper, usually associated with wrapping and meant to be discarded, is then interpreted in shapes of much more valued objects, such as a pair of porcelain vases or even human figures, to give it a whole new significance.

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Schoeni Art Gallery is one of the world’s leading galleries specialising in contemporary Chinese art. The gallery’s mission is to nurture and promote rising talents and foster the growth of the contemporary Chinese art scene. The late founder Manfred Schoeni worked with today’s most established artists such as Liu Ye, Yue Minjun, Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi at a time when they had no audience. His daughter, Nicole Schoeni is committed to this tradition of uncovering artists of such calibre for the future and to expand its focus to conceptual art

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