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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.

+ Li Hongbo

via This is Colossal