"The role of the artist is to impart, through his artistic language, a better understanding of our contemporary world. Li’s experiments with paper show the creativity of a new generation of Chinese artists.”
- Xu Bing, Chinese contemporary artist
After the success of his last solo exhibition presented by Danysz in Shanghai, Li Hongbo takes over the Parisian space of the gallery to turn it into a strange place where everything appears different than what it really is. Classical marble sculptures that can bend and stretch like accordions. Natural elements with eccentric shapes. Steel figurines carved out of butcher knives…
You can’t help wondering how this is done, that is the magic of Li Hongbo’s work. It stands on its own, defiantly unique yet always relatable. The themes are that of nature, childhood, our relationship to art history. All of this presented in ways that are as playful as they are poetic. Li Hongbo’s great talent is to offer fresh perspectives while always challenging our understanding of sculpture and its possibilities.
This exhibition includes works made of paper and others made of steel, two materials that are at the core of the artist’s vocabulary. Part of the show centers on the revisiting of ancient statuary, for which the artist is best known. Other parts take us to some hallucinatory landscape where stones and timber wood appear completely distorted.
Also on show, a set of sculptures rarely seen representing children carved out of textbooks, a powerful commentary on how knowledge is passed on and how individuals are shaped.
For his first solo show in Paris, Li Hongbo settles in with his full palette, recreating for us the wealth and complexity of his world as an artist, with a number of works produced especially for this exhibition. An adventurous experience, full of surprises, where our entrenched conceptions of reality and illusion may well begin to lose their footing.