Li Hongbo is known for employing handmade paper as his medium, to create malleable sculptures that challenge the viewer’s perception of metamorphosis in sculpture. His fascination with the material and its history, which is an important part of his Chinese culture — the oldest known paper fragments in the world date back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and made their way to the west by way of the silk road — began when he attended the central academy of fine arts in Beijing where paper was a cheap and readily available resource. since then, the artist has engaged in depth with the material, exploring its endless possibilities.
The creative’s artistic process sees him applying a honeycomb layer of adhesive between sheets of paper, to form solid yet pliable structures that can elongate, retract, stretch and twist. His installation ‘Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day’ is a composition of brightly colored gun-shaped paper accordions that fill the SCAD Museum of Art’s Pamela Elaine Potter Gallery. The work examines the conflicts of war and weapons, in which Li Hongbo transforms the crude tools of destruction, rendered in vibrant, honeycombed, laminated paper, by reshaping them into delicate abstract forms resembling floral patterns. The artist eliminates any signs of slaughter and chaos that guns evoke, by transposing the sinister intent of guns into a pleasant landscape which instead expresses feelings of optimism. The exhibition is curated by Aaron Levi Garvey, SCAD assistant curator of exhibitions.
All images courtesy of SCAD Museum of Art
Add to collection