Li Hongbo’s razor-sharp knife sculptures
Unbelievable artwork carved out of Chinese meat cleavers.Peter Iantorno March 31, 2015
If you feel like you've seen the name Li Hongbo before, that's probably because you have, when we featured his amazing morphing paper statues back in February. And like any great creative mind, the Beijing-based artist hasn't rested on his laurels, as his latest work could even more stunning than those statues the whole EDGAR office was gawping at a couple of months ago.
Entitled Shadow of Knives, his series of intricately carved silhouette sculptures is a masterclass in precision. A range of animals, humans, skeletons and landscapes have been painstakingly carved out of genuine Chinese cleaver knives, and then delicately peeled back and positioned perfectly, leaving behind corresponding negative spaces in the blades.
The result is a set of stunning sculptures, that are both striking, cold and tough, owing to the hard metal knives they were created from; yet also fragile and delicate, due to the precise cuts and the fact that they're held together by only the tiniest shard of metal.
In a description from Contemporary by Angela Li, the gallery that displayed the series at the end of last year, the sculptures are Hongbo's way of warning society about the perils of gluttony and their abuse of animals. Despite the serious message behind them, the intricate carvings, from an artist we're increasingly impressed by, really are a joy to behold.