New Artist Li Hongbo Has Arrived!

Amazing New Artist Li Hongbo

Li Hongbo is one of the most ingenious new artists I have heard about in a long time. His works are nothing short of incredible and they are made with paper, thousands of sheets of paper.

Li Hongbo and his art were brought to my attention via one of those forwards that are sent through email. The forwarded email containing information about Li Hongbo and his works was sent to me by my youngest sister who received it in her email and thought it so unique and amazing that she believed I would want to see it. She was correct. I love it!


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Li Hongbo

Li Hongbo touching up one of his flixible paper busts.
Li Hongbo touching up one of his flixible paper busts. | Source

Notes of Interest

What Is a Plinth?

In sculpture, a plinth is a heavy base supporting a statue or vase.

In architecture, a plinth refers to the lower square slab at the base of a column.


The Invention of Paper

Paper was first invented in China in 105 CE. There is some disagreement about the year, as some scholars believe paper was in fact invented some 250 years earlier.

The History of Science and Technology: A Browser's Guide to the Great Discoveries, Inventions, and the People Who Made Them from the Dawn of Time to Today, edited by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, published by Houghton Mifflin Company

Li Hongbo Has Always Loved Paper

Paper craft and paper art have been favorites of mine for a long time. I love the versatility of paper and the fact that it is usually inexpensive to work with and one can do so many different things with it. Paper art goes well beyond greeting cards and scrapbooks.

I have seen some truly amazing works of paper art, and Mr. Li’s creations are nothing short of surprising, and awesome. I am spotlighting Li Hongbo’s busts in this article, but he has many other kinds of sculptures also, and all are flexible sculptures.

Born in Siping, Jilin, China on January 7, 1974, into a farm family, Li Hongbo as an adult graduated from Jilin Normal University of Fine Arts, in 1996. He went on to graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2001 with a MFA (Masters of Fine Art) in folk art, and finally he graduated from that same institution with a MFA in experimental art in 2010. He now lives and works in Beijing.

Mr. Li said he has always loved paper. "At the beginning, I discovered the flexible nature of paper through Chinese paper toys and paper lanterns, “ Mr. Li explained to one interviewer, as an explanation about what first inspired him to think about paper in a different way.

What Does CE and BCE Mean?

Most of us are accustomed to seeing the letters A. D. and B. C. in history books, but here CE is being used when talking about the invention of paper.

I learned in school that A. D. meant After Deity, and that B. C. meant Before Christ. When searching for what the letters CE meant and why they were being used, I was informed that CE stands for Common Era. I was also informed that BCE meant Before Common Era. There is to be no more use of A. D. or B. C., because that has been replaced by CE, and BCE.

The reason for the change is out of deference to people who are not Christians and who object to God’s name being used generally to designate time.

TheFreeDictionary.com

Li Hongbo is one of the most innovative new artists of modern times creating amazing sculptures out of ordinary paper.
Li Hongbo is one of the most innovative new artists of modern times creating amazing sculptures out of ordinary paper. | Source

Li Hongbo Sculpture Is Surprising and Incredible!

At first glace Mr. Li’s busts look like classic sculptures one might commonly see in museums and libraries and other cultural buildings. They appear to be made of porcelain or plaster until one of the museum gallery assistants lift them up for viewers to see how much like a paper slinky they are. The busts weigh about 30 pounds each on average.

To make his extraordinary sculptures Mr. Li uses a stencil to paste glue in narrow strips across large pieces of paper that he then sticks together to form blocks of 500. He stacks the blocks to the desired height -- an average bust is over ten blocks or 5,000 sheets of paper high -- then cuts, chisels and sands the large block just as if it were a piece of soft stone.

Who would have thought paper could be manipulated and molded in a way not so different from harder materials? To form the faces of his sculptures, Mr. Li uses a band saw. For the finer features of the sculpture he uses an angle grinder.

Gallery assistants pull the sculptures around on their plinths for visitors, but visitors are not allowed to touch the pieces themselves leaving some of the observers feeling dissatisfied with their experience.

Flexible Paper Sculptures by Li Hongbo

Source
All 6 Photos demonstrating Li Hongbo's sculptures are provided by Beyond Chinatown on Flickr.
All 6 Photos demonstrating Li Hongbo's sculptures are provided by Beyond Chinatown on Flickr. | Source

Names In Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, a person’s name is written the opposite of American culture. Here, a person might be David Brown, but in China he would be Brown David. In China a person’s surname comes first and it is followed by their given name.

That is the reason that I refer to Li Hongbo in this article as Mr. Li. Mr. Li is his surname or last name and it is considered rude even in writing to leave off his title, because I am not well acquainted with him. If I were, he might give me permission to call him by his given name.

Here in the U.S. we tend to be very informal, often calling people by their first names even when we barely know them. In China it is unacceptable to call anyone by their given name without their specific permission to do so.

In China women always retain their maiden names even after marriage. When a person is not familiar with someone, it is always correct to address them including their title -- Mr., Mrs., Miss., Doctor, Mayor, etc. At this time the title women here in the states (including this writer) often choose for themselves (Ms.) is not used.

e.diplomat.com

Experiencing Li Hongbo’s Sculptures

As one gallery visitor explained, “When you can open it, there is movement, there is mobility. It becomes a dynamic thing versus a very static thing. As an observer, I can only enjoy that momentum or that movement of the object if someone opens it for me. The sculptures are funny, because they are very enticing. I want to play with them, but I am not allowed."

Mr. Li is aware of the frustration some gallery observers feel, and at a show in Sydney (Australia) he provided small models for the audience to play with.

Though Mr. Li refuses to disclose prices, a recent bust of David reportedly sold for $32,000. Several of his other pieces in the 'Tools of Study' exhibit at the Klein Sun gallery in New York where his work was on display from January until March of this year reportedly sold for $10,000 to $48,000, (Wall Street Journal). With a growing demand for his works the cost of providing gallery visitors with smaller sculptors that they can manipulate themselves could end up stretching the wallets of those observers who choose a hands-on experience.

Be sure to watch the provided videos to see Li Hongbo’s works in motion.

To view more of Li Hongbo’s unusual sculptures click here.

More Sculptors by Li Homgbo

Li Hongbo with a few of his busts.
Li Hongbo with a few of his busts. | Source
Another example of Li Hongbo's work.
Another example of Li Hongbo's work. | Source

For a Quick Look at Li Hongbo's Sulptures in Motion

For a Little Longer Experience of Li Hongbo's Sculptures

See Li Hongbo's Flexible Sculptures in Motion and How He Creates Them

Sources

e.diplomat.com

http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_cn.htm


Whterabbitcollecion.org

http://www.whiterabbitcollection.org/artists/li-hongbo/


Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/us-art-china-paper-idUSBREA0M0FA20140123


The Free Dictionary

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Before+Common+Era


Answers.com

http://www.answers.com/topic/year-105-ce


Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303802904579332740065458028

© 2014 C E Clark

More by this Author


Comments 57 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for your poem. There's is a lot of paper dust involved with all these paper busts when they're cut. Could make some molded busts with it no doubt if it were salvaged instead of discarded.

Hope all is well with you . . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 8 months ago

Au fait, I am amazed every time I read your hub.

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God made us all from dust

Li Hongbo made a paper bust

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Hope all is well with you

Blessings and hugs always


Au fait profile image

Au fait 9 months ago from North Texas Author

Besarien, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Glad you enjoyed!


Besarien profile image

Besarien 9 months ago

Hello Au Fait! Sculptural slinkies! Isn't Li Hongbo awesome! Some of his sculpture looks like they would be at home in a Victorian museum or an old cemetery. I wonder what it feels like to touch and play with? I can't have nice things however because I have a kid and a pet instead. Loved this hub!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 10 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for sharing this article, and I hope the same things for our new year as you do!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 11 months ago from Houston, Texas

Thought that I would share this unique art once again. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead and praying that it will be a more peaceful year worldwide for everyone.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for sharing this article! It is very unique art and I really love it!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

Decided to take another look at this intriguing art form created by Li Hongbo. I find it fascinating and will share once again for those who might have missed seeing it. Stay cool up there! Our temperatures seem to be matching these days. HOT! HOT! HOT!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Lee Cloak, thank you for reading/commenting! I would love to see it close up too. Glad you enjoyed!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Lee Cloak, thank you for reading/commenting! I would love to see it close up too. Glad you enjoyed!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula (fpherj48), thank you for your kind words, the votes, the tweet and the pin. I'm so glad you enjoyed this article!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for taking time to comment, vote on and share this article. Things could be better, but then they could also be worse . . . Take care . . .


Lee Cloak 17 months ago

What amazing art, I would love to see this work up close, great hub, very interesting, thanks, Lee


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 17 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

WOW! is an understatement. Truly fascinating and so innovative. Thank you so much, Au fait for the intro and hub-filled with facts and info on this Extremely talented Artist! You bring us such wonderful gifts!...UP++ tweeted & pinned.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 17 months ago

I am back to share this again. Hope all is well with you my dear friend.

Blessings and hugs.

Thumb up, ABI and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for taking time to view Mr. Hongbo's work. I agree that it's amazing. I really love papercraft and paper art.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 20 months ago from Orange County, California

This artist is incredible and I am so glad you wrote an article featuring these amazing sculptures! Voted up and Sharing! :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Ezzly, for checking out this article and for the vote and Tweet! So glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was so amazing I had to write about it.


ezzly profile image

ezzly 21 months ago

Wow , visiting an exhibition on hubpages this is awesome - those Flexible Paper Sculptures are awesome! Voted up and sharing on twitter !


Au fait profile image

Au fait 21 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for bringing light to this article. I just love the art, but then I've said that so many times already. Thank you for taking time to read and promote this article. We're looking forward in a manner of speaking, to our 3rd ice storm to arrive tomorrow. Hope all is well there . . .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

I really like this hub of yours as you might suspect. The art is so different and intriguing. Hope this comment registers. I am having difficulties with some of the comments and also shares not going through. Will give it a try!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Aesta1, thank you for reading about this new amazing artist, Li Hongbo. I hope you will get an opportunity to view his work and participate with it one day soon. People who visit his exhibits are sometimes allowed to work with the sculptors and see how they move, etc., which I think is fantastic.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Mary615, thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for the votes and share, etc. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Pstraubie48, thank you for having a look at this amazing art and for commenting and voting on and sharing this article! Thank you for the angels too, and am sending them right back to you.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 22 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you for this introduction tot Li Hongbo. What he does with paper is very interesting. I am very interested to see his work.


mary615 profile image

mary615 22 months ago from Florida

This is the most incredible Hub I've read in quite some time! I was just amazed when I saw the video. How in the world??

Voted this Up, etc. and will certainly share all around.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

This is hard to believe...who would have thought this could be done. It would be so exciting to see a display of his works, up close and personal.

You have found a winner to share for sure, Aufait

Angels are once again winging their way to you ps

shared voted up++++


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Vespawoolf, thank you for reading this article and for commenting! I agree that these sculptures are amazing. Glad you found useful information here, as well as the opportunity to learn about a new incredible artist.

Best wishes to you and yours for a fabulous 2015!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 23 months ago from Peru, South America

Wow, I´ve never seen anything like this! These are truly amazing sculptures. Who would have thought you could do such a thing with paper? I also appreciate your explanation of the uses of CE and BCE. Thank you!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for sharing this article! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that the new year will bring all the best of everything to you and yours!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 23 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

Will share this interesting hub of yours once again and also give it a tweet. There are many people who will be interested to see this innovative sculpture. Merry Christmas to you!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for checking out this article! I think this guy is so amazing. Hongbo is a man. All the photos here of women are museum staff attendants. The man in the photos is Hongbo. Very much appreciate your bringing attention to this man's work.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 2 years ago from Orange County, California

These sculptures are amazing! I saw a video about her recently and could not believe it. Thanks for sharing more information about this talented artist.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you, Shyron, for coming back and sharing this article. I love papercraft for so many reasons.

Time is indeed flying and mine is running out. Nearly 4 hours on this activity again this morning and I'm not done yet. Chores and other obligations await me. Hope all is well with you guys, too. Take care . . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I had to come back and re-read. Art and artist facinate me, and this is such an unusual art form. It surprises me that more people have not read about Mr. Li.

I am sleepy now that I have been up for a couple of hours.

Time is flying by.

I do hope all is well with you.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Rochelle Frank! Glad you enjoyed.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron! I'm so glad you enjoy this unusual art.

Think I may have discovered the problem with my car with daughter's help yesterday. Time will tell. Sleep? What's that?? ;) Really, I'm not sure anymore. Hope your window is fixed now. Glad your a/c is working again. Mine is struggling with this high humidity we're having. Hope all is well there with you and John. Blessings to you both . . .


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

"Amazing" and "fascinating" have been overused-- but how else can this be described? Thanks for sharing this work.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for Google+ing this article!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I am back to re-read this again It is facaniting. This artist is a genius.

I hope you had a restful sleep. I see that you were not on here yesterday, I hope all is well. I will try to call you later today when the chaos calms down, everything happens at once.

AC man is here and expecting the window repairman and am on hold with the telephone man all at the same time.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

PegCole17, thank you for coming by to view and learn about this incredible artist and his work!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for checking this article out and for voting on it and sharing it. I was amazed when I first saw it. What ideas did it give you? Have you tried them whatever they are and did they work?

Hope all is well there and that you are getting a good sleep. I'm going to try for that in just a little bit. Blessings dear friend!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DDE, thank you for coming by. Glad you enjoyed learning about Mr. Li and viewing his work!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi again Au fait,

Will also give this interesting hub of yours a boost by sending it to G+.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

JayeWisdom, thank you for reading, commenting on, and voting on this article! Glad you enjoyed. I think this art is just amazing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, thank you for coming by. Glad you enjoyed!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Incredible sculpture from an unexpected medium. Thanks for sharing the work of this artist.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, so glad you enjoyed this article. I consider it a high compliment given that you have written so many excellent articles about artists yourself.

You raise some important issues about the natural oils that are on everyone's hands soiling the white sculptors. Not all of his work is white of course, but even colored paper stains from oil after enough handling.

The one video showed them glueing the paper together, but I don't believe there was anything about what kind of glue they were using. I'm not sure about that and will have to check it.

Thank you for the votes, pin, and share also.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Amazing! Beautiful photos and so interesting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Aunt Jimi, thank you for coming by. Thanks for the votes and share. So glad you enjoyed!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Ericdierker, thanks for stopping!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Truly amazing, and I would probably never have known this type of art was created without you, Au fait, showcasing Li Hongbo's work on Hubpages. Thank you! Voted Up++

Jaye


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Way to go Au Fait, This is very, very interesting. You've enlightened my horizon :-)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I am amazed Au fait, you find the most interesting things to write about.

This gives me some good idesa I just wonder if they will work.

Voted up, UABI and shared.

I hope you slept well my dear friend.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow! I have seen old books used as art in various forms but never anything like this! It almost looks snake like when the curator in that gallery started to pull from the top of the sculpture going out from it. That must be some very strong glue to hold all of that paper together when it is being moved like that!

I can understand why everyone would not be allowed to touch them. First of all, without gloves, oils would be transferred to the paper. Secondly, if not done carefully, I suppose they could be broken if handled in a rough manner.

Thanks for introducing me and others to this man's art. Up and interesting votes and will pin and share.


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 2 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

What an interesting form of art! I would never have imagined anyone doing something like this. This man's work is really something.

Voted up, interesting and awesome, and will share with my followers.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very Interesting

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