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Chinese paper sculptures stretch imaginations

Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 - 01:29

Jan. 23 - Chinese artist Li Hongbo wows New Yorkers with sculptures made from thousands of sheets of paper that appear solid when still, but transform into amorphous shapes when stretched. Tara Cleary reports.

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Chinese sculptor Li Hongbo puts the finishing touches to a figure. But what looks like solid plaster, can be transformed into a flexible, amorphous mass. Li says some people find the weirdly stretched shapes disconcerting. SOUNDBITE: Li Hongbo, artist, saying (Mandarin): "'Strange' and 'unsettling' are just adjectives used by some individuals. In fact, people have a fixed understanding of what a human is, and think that a human cannot be physically manipulated, so when you transform a person, people will reconsider the nature of objects and the motivation behind the creation." Li's sculptures are replicas of classical busts he used to sketch at university. He starts by creating a stack of more than 5,000 sheets of paper - held together by narrow strips of glue. The block is then shaped as if it were a piece of soft stone. And these creations have been turning heads in New York City since January the 9th, when an exhibition of Li's busts opened at the Klein Sun Gallery. Though some visitors are disappointed to learn that they aren't allowed to fiddle with the sculptures. SOUNDBITE: Lydia Chrisman, exhibition visitor, saying (English): "As an observer, it's like, I can only enjoy that momentum or that movement of the object if someone opens it for me." And perhaps that's just as well - growing demand for Li's works means the cost of one of these busts would seriously stretch your wallet.

Chinese paper sculptures stretch imaginations

Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 - 01:29

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