Jan. 23 - Chinese artist uses flexible nature of paper to transform one shape into another. Julie Noce reports.
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At first glance- it's a bust made of plaster, or maybe clay. But look again... these sculptures from an artist in China are actually made out of thousands of pieces of fine paper.
Li Hongbo says he's always loved working with paper- a material first invented in China.
The flexible nature of paper, Li says, allows him to transform one shape into another, literally and metaphorically.
(SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) ARTIST LI HONGBO SAYING:
"At the beginning, I discovered the flexible nature of paper through Chinese paper toys and paper lanterns. Later, I used this to make a gun. A gun is solid, used for killing, but I turned it into a tool for play or for decoration. In this way, it lost both the form of a gun, and the culture inherent to a gun. It became a game."
Using a stencil, Li glues page upon page of fine paper into massive blocks which he then stacks on top of each other.
He uses saws and sanders to chisel the paper into replicas of busts he used to draw while in college.
Described as strange and unsettling, his work is gaining worldwide attention.
At a gallery in New York, visitors can barely keep their hands off it.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) VISITOR LYDIA CHRISMAN SAYING:
"I can only enjoy that momentum or that movement of the object if someone opens it for me. It's so funny, because it's like, enticing. You kind of want to play with it."
But the only paper you'll be touching around here is out of your wallet to make a purchase.
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