Li Hongbo’s amazing morphing statues

These stunning stretchable paper sculptures have to be seen to be believed.

Peter Iantorno February 1, 2015

At first sight they look like plane stone statues - admittedly attractive and clearly the work of a skilled craftsmen, yet nothing out of the ordinary.

However, with these statues all is not as it seems... While they might look like limestone, they are in fact made from thousands upon thousands of sheets of flexible paper, which gives them the surprising ability to be stretched, twisted and elongated to massive extremes, before snapping back into place to reveal the original statue completely unaffected and untarnished by its exerts - as the video above shows, in stunning detail.

Li-Hongbo artist sculptures.

Each sculpture is the result of up to 20,000 sheets of paper that have been painstakingly glued together to form a honeycomb-like structure inspired by the centuries-old tradition of the Chinese paper gourd which is so often hung during weddings or other celebrations in China. Once the block of paper has been assembled, Hongbo goes about carving out the shape of the sculpture, considering the depth, width, mass and centre - this must be absolutely precise, as if there's even the slightest miscalculation, the whole structure will become unstable and unable to support itself.

Here are a few of our favourite works from this incredible artist, and at the bottom of the page is a video in which he gives us more of an insight into his inspirations, method and plans for the future: Bust of David, Li HongbboBust of David, Li Hongbbo Bust of Marseilles, Li Hongbo.Bust of Marseilles, Li Hongbo. Bust of Michelangelo, Li Hongbo.Bust of Michelangelo, Li Hongbo. Li-Hongbo artist sculptures. Details: visit kleinsungallery.com