Li Hong Bo

Plancan II

Plancan II


About The Artist

Li Hongbo is an artist born in China’s Jilin province in 1974. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Jilin Normal University in 1996, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Folk Art in 2001, MFA degree in Experimental Art in 2010, both from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Li Hongbo is best known for his lifelike paper sculptures, made entirely out of paper and glue. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world.cLi's works have been exhibited internationally. Most recently, his works were displayed at Ludwigsburg Museum in Germany (2013) and the 18th Biennale of Sydney in Australia (2012). Li's first solo exhibit in North America titled Tools of Study received worldwide attention. He now lives and works in Beijing, China. 

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Li Hongbo's works are characterized by their unique media- paper and glue. Initially inspired by the idea of tradition and ubiquity that paper embodies, Li creates a hidden element of surprise in his paper sculptures that stretch in infinite ways. The static and emotionless state of the sculptures transform into unpredictable images, ultimately accentuating the difference between restriction and freedom. Each bust comprises roughly 7,000 to 8,000 sheets of white paper stacked on top of each other. They are glued together manually in a honeycomb structure, allowing the resulting sculptures complete flexibility and sturdiness. With a history as a book editor and designer, Li Hongbo describes his unusual attachment to paper, “I love it and collect it,”. 

Li Hongbo also does increasingly audacious experiments with paper. The installation Paper (2010) began when Li Hongbo bought one of the “honeycomb” paper balls used for festive decorations in China and took it apart to see how it was made.  “I realised it’s really quite simple,” he says.  “Yet the flexibility in terms of shape and properties is amazing.”  His take on this craft tradition is indeed amazing, and it is made entirely of common paper.  With the help of an assistant, Li Hongbo stuck more than 30,000 sheets together with carefully placed stripes of glue to form what look like two large blocks of balsa wood. Using an electric saw, he carved these stacks into identical human figures. One he leaves intact, except for a toppled head; the other is stretched out like a vast accordion, its torso and limbs looping around the gallery space like a gigantic Slinky toy. Many visitors find it hard to believe that it ever looked anything like its upright twin. The artist hopes the work will awaken viewers to what captivates his own imagination: “the endless possibilities of paper.” 

Selected Public Collections

21c Museum, Louisville, KY
53 Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China
Found Museum, Beijing, China
White Rabbit Collection, Sydney, Australia



Solo Exhibitions

 “Tools of Study,” Klein Sun Gallery, New York, NY

“Li Hongbo – Out of Paper,” Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg, Germany

“Self,” Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong 
“A Tree,” Mizuma & One Gallery, Beijing, China

 “The World – Li Hongbo New Works Exhibition,” Found Museum, Beijing, China; Modern Art Gallery, Taichung, Taiwan 

Selected Group Exhibitions

“Paper – Existence,” Tianjin Art Museum, Tianjin, China
“Chinese Contemporary Youth Sculpture Exhibition,” Chinese Sculpture Institute Arts Department in Luodai, Chengdu, China
"Encountering: New Art on the Silk Road," Xinjiang Biennale, Urumqi, China
"Once Upon a Time in Asia: The Story Tree," Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore
“Pulp Culture – Paper is the Medium,” Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
“Over the Edge: Paperworks Unbound,” Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
“Stacked & Folded paper as Sculpture,” The Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI
“The 12th National Exhibition of Experimental Art,” Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
“Experimental Art,” Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China
“Re-Modernization: The 3rd Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts,” Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China
“Chinese Pose: The 3rd China Sculpture Exhibition,” Shangdong Art Museum, Shangdong, China

“Confronting Anitya,” Palazzo Michiel, Venice, Italy
“CODA Paper Art 2013,” CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
“PaperWorks: The Art and Science of an Extraordinary Material,” Berkshire Museum,
Pittsfield, MA 
“Hot Pot,” Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, VT 
“Transformation – A Perspective of Contemporary Art,” 53 Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
“Freeze Frame Moments – 2013 Young Artist Invitational Exhibition,” Nan Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
“Insightful Charisma,” Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai, China
“Tan Wei Guan Zhi,” Wu Niu Visual and Packing Institute Visual Arts Museum, Chengdu, China
“Art Sanya,” The Forbidden City at Yalong Bay, Hainan, China
“Shenzhen Chinese Ink Painting Biennial,” Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
“Datong 2nd International Sculpture Biennial,” He Yang Mueum, Datong, Shanxi, China
“Evolution – Imagery,” Jingren Paperlogue & Artron, Beijing, China

“Ctrl + N: Non-Linear Practice,” Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, South Korea
“Material à Object,” Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY 
“All our relations,” 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia
“Research Exhibition on Post-70’s Generation Artists Jianghan Star Plan,” Wu Han Art Museum, Wu Han, China
“The Start of a Long Journey: The Collection of Excellent Graduate Works from The Central Academy of Fine Arts (2009 – 2011),” Art @ Golden Square, London, England
“1st Xinjiang Biennale,” Xinjiang International Exposition Centre, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China

 "Start from the Horizon: Chinese Contemporary Sculpture Since 1978," Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China 
  “Material à Object,” EK Projects, Beijing, China 
“Experimental Art,” Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China

“The Big Bang,” White Rabbit Foundation, Sydney, Australia 
 “Journey of a Thousand Miles,” Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China 
 “Object Energy,” Found Museum, Beijing, China 
 “Tien Kung Kai Wu,” Deshan Art Space, Beijing, China 
“I’m on the Road to…,” Mizuma & One Gallery, Beijing, China

“The Desire for Material Welfare & No Wants,” Jin Du Art Center, Beijing, China
“Shared Time and Space,” K Space, Beijing, China

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