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August 5, 2014 AT 7:30 am

Paper Concertina Sculptures #ArtTuesday

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Li Hongbo designs sculptures out of layers of pepper concertinas. via Reuters

The white, classical busts in Li Hongbo’s dusty Beijing studio could be used for drawing practice in any art classroom in the world. That is until the Chinese artist places his hands on one and lifts gently.

What had looked exactly like solid plaster is transformed into an amorphous worm, as the statues are revealed for what they really are – concertinas of thousands upon thousands of fine pieces of paper.

Li, who is showcasing some of his recent work at a New York gallery until early March, pastes glue in narrow strips across pieces of paper, which he stacks to the desired height. A head requires more than 5,000 layers. He then cuts, chisels and sands the large block as if it were a piece of soft stone.

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