Born 1974 – China
Li Hongbo earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jilin Normal University, Jilin, China, in 1996. He then earned his first MFA in 2001 from the Folk Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and concluded his formal education with a second MFA from the Experimental Art Department of the same school, in 2010.
Li Hongbo is best known for his interpretations of paper. His reinvention of the material's form challenges viewers’ expectations of the medium as an artistic vehicle. Utilizing an age-old honeycomb technique seen in paper gourd making in China, Li creates kinetic paper works which elegantly expand, contract, and retract. These sculptures hint at influences of folk traditions in China, but in contemporary light play upon perceptions and the visual language of a mercurial medium that has stood the test of time.
Li’s solo exhibition Tools of Study (2014) inaugurated Klein Sun Gallery’s space in Chelsea, New York, to critical acclaim. Staged like an institutional assembly of classical sculptures, the exhibition was activated through participation – with one simple tug, a bust revealed layers and layers of paper that unraveled like a slinky. Li’s second exhibition at Klein Sun Gallery, Textbooks (2016), continues his study of paper through examination of school literature.
Li Hongbo has been the recipient of several prestigious awards throughout his career. Most recently he received the Nomination Award from the China Government Publication Awards, and in 2017 he won Grand Prize from the Sovereign Asian Art Foundation.
Li Hongbo currently lives and works in Beijing, China.