Li Hongbo- art that moves you


[Bust of David, 2015 Paper 46 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches (118 x 70 x 60 cm)]

Art Basel 2016 was a blast. Quite honestly, it was overwhelming. With so much art to see in such a small amount of time— most of the people who attended the festivities did so in a hurry. Imagine being incredibly hungry, almost on the brink of starvation, to then suddenly be given so much food that your eyes go berserk, your mind gets frenzy; you make a gracious attempt to eat anything and everything in sight. We called Art Basel 2016, Drive Thru Art 2016 but don’t dare admit to any art enthusiast you went to Art Basel like you drove into a McDonald’s drive-through. As an Art Basel recap here is one artist’s work that demands further exploration.

Li Hongbo is best known for his kinetic art. He utilizes an age-old honeycomb technique seen in paper gourd making in China to create works using kinetic paper works that elegantly expand, contract and retract in flawless motion. Influenced by Chinese folklore and using contemporary techniques that manipulate light and the perception of it, Hongbo’s kinetic paper sculptures speak in a visual language that stretches the boundaries of art. One of the most astonishing pieces of artwork that demanded our attention (meaning we paused to embrace its elegance) during Art Basel was Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s Bust of David 2015.


[Goddess of Pantheon, 2015 Paper 17 5/8 x 8 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches (45 x 22 x 25 cm)]

“…with one simple tug, a bust revealed layers and layers of paper that unraveled like a slinky.”

Li Hongbo was born in Jilin, China, in 1974. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jilin Normal University, Jilin, China, in 1996. He then earned his first Master of Fine Arts in 2002 from the Folk Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and concluded his formal education with a second Master of Fine Arts from the Experimental Art Department of the same school, in 2010.


[Absorption No. 6, 2015 Books 8 x 26 x 11 1/2 inches (20 x 66 x 29 cm)]

Currently, Klein Sun Gallery is exhibiting Li Hongbo’s “Textbooks,” a solo exhibition of mixed media installations and sculptures. The show is on view from January 7 through February 13, 2016.



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