Press release

A Tree

Mizuma & One Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of A Tree, a solo show of the young artist LI Hongbo, on April 21 in Cao Chang Di, Beijing. LI Hongbo made his artistic inspirations from his childhood toys of Paper Squashes, or better yet, all kinds of vivid artifacts (lanterns, fruits, etc.) made from thin sheets of paper. LI was impressed by the great visual impact from such paper-folding crafts, from which he began to explore the expressive potential of paper as an artistic medium, its language ranging from the concrete to the abstract, the form to the formless, the rule-governed to the free, and vice versa. The continuity of sheets of paper has become a pivotal element of the artistic language that speaks to the viewers in a series of ever-changing images made possible by the clustering, curving, and zigzagging of paper.
Professor YIN Shuangxi, from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, commented: With paper as his medium, LI Hongbo explored the "thing-ness" in his works; as such he conveyed his observations and perceptions of the world, which in turn reflects his views of the world's reality. Here, every individual artifact is a realistic imitation of the object, but the combination of various types of paper medium is the artist's subjective choice. As such, LI's works blend the image of the man and his creation. As a whole, the show is a palpable demonstration of LI Hongbo's lively, independent thinking as to the differences between humans and nature, and between everyday articles and artistic works.
In the show, there is "a tree" also made of paper. Otherwise a normal-looking tree, the work is created by sticking pieces of paper together. Due to the deformation of paper by stretching and twisting, the "tree" doesn't have the feel of woody stiffness, but assumes a sense of tender posture in its uprightness. With such perceptive tension and contrast, the tree embodies the malleability and ephemerality of human sentiments.
While LI Hongbo's study and use of paper medium may seem to be merely a matter of discovering some unnoticed artistic material, Professor YIN Shuangxin lauded it as a creative effort "that sets a contemporary artistic trend in terms of reexamining 'thing-ness' and 'materials.'"
LI Hongbo received his master's degree from the Department of Experimental Arts at China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. He currently lives and works in Beijing. Later this year, he upon invitation will be attending the 18th Sydney Biannual (2012.6.27 - 9.16).