Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Li Hongbo and His Amazing Sculptures

The last blog was about Pissarro - an Early Modern painter in the Impressionist style. Now, a century later, new materials, new methods and a greater latitude for artists have given rise to a fascinating scope of art making. An example of such art and artist can be found in Li Hongbo ((1974-)

Hongbo, who is a resident of Beijing, China was a book editor and designer with a wide-ranging interest in art movements. One method that particularly interested him was the Chinese art of honey-comb paper mainly used to make toys. He noticed that this forming of paper made it strong and flexible.

It took deconstructing the process for Hongbo to figure out how he could create sculptures from paper. Patiently, he cuts, folds and pastes hexagons into the appearance of a log or piece of wood. Then, he uses an electric saw to shape the paper into sculptures.

With the help of an assistant, Hongbo will shape some 30,000 pieces of paper into a human face or torso. At first glance, the sculpture is a classic piece of art, but since it is made of expandable paper pieces, the art stretches until it resembles a Slinky toy.

Not only does Hongbo make human sculptures, but also replicas of antique Chinese pottery and large decorative objects.

Pretty amazing, yes?

If you'd like to learn more about his technique, there's a 3-minute video at:


  1. it is amazing and what a patient man putting all those pieces together

  2. Wow! I loved seeing this--really stretches the imagination!

  3. Love this guy! Thanks! AIG

  4. these sculptures are amazing!
    Love jx

  5. After reading your blog today, I thought you might like to explore the work of Berndnaut Smilde. He makes and exhibits real clouds.

    1. Never heard of the artist. Thanks for the lead!