From a distance, the works of Li Hongbo look like classical sculptures of molded plaster or delicate porcelain, but if you try to pick one of them up, it will stretch apart like a Slinky. That's because Li's 3D sculptures are made entirely from thousands of sheets of paper. In the tradition of the Chinese ‘paper gourd’ technique, which is found in paper toys and decorations, Li carves realistic shapes into stacks of folded paper. As the video below the jump shows, each piece can be pulled and stretched to reveal the individual sheets of paper it comprises.
We’ve seen humble sheets of paper take many shapes as an artistic medium, but few artists are able to match the realistic sculptures that Beijing-based artist Li Hongbo makes from paper. At the “Pure White Pa show that recently closed at the Dominik Mersch Gallery in Sydney, Li unveiled busts and skulls made from paper, as well as life-size human sculptures.
According to Li Hongbo’s bio, he begins by gluing thousands of sheets of paper into a large block. “The artist carves this block to create a form that can be outstretched like an accordion, transforming the work into something completely different.” At first glance, the sculptures appear to be made from traditional materials; Li includes a few playful gestures, like leaving rough edges on some of his paper cutouts, to make it look like a sculpture that has been chiseled from marble. But the big reveal comes from picking up and twisting the pieces, revealing the honeycomb-shaped paper within.
via This is Colossal