li hongbo hand carves school children from textbooks at klein sun gallery
(above) li hongbo, ‘absorption no 4’, 2015
books | 60 x 29 x 21cm
all images courtesy of klein sun gallery




li hongbo: textbooks
klein sun gallery, new york
now though february 13, 2016



from now until february 13, 2016, new york’s klein sun gallery presents ‘textbooks’, a solo exhibition of mixed media installations and sculptures by li hongbo. best known for his kinetic paper works previously featured by designboom here, the beijing-based artist now presents four new series that express educational systems as economic and social currencies across various cultures. throughout the gallery, giant binder clips suspended from the ceiling, textbooks, and classroom materials form the immersive site-specific exhibition. 

li hongbo, ‘absorption no 1’, 2015
books | 30 x 29 x 21cm




li hongbo assembled stacks of pages collected from secondhand high school, middle school, and primary school-level textbooks in his studio in beijing. from these literary towers, he carefully hand-carved figurative sculptures of school children, leaving the edges crudely finished. uncharacteristically silent as statues, these stationary pupils sit on weathered school desks, which also tell stories of past lessons and conversations. through these haunting figures, li hongbo creates a ghostly narrative in which the youths who will determine our future and the educational system are inseparable.

li hongbo, ‘absorption no 1’, 2015
books | 30 x 29 x 21cm

li hongbo, ‘absorption no 2’, 2015
books | 60 x 29 x 21cm

li hongbo, ‘absorption no 2’, 2015
books | 60 x 29 x 21cm


installation view of ‘textbooks’ at klein sun gallery in new york

giant binder clips weave their way through the exhibition space 

binder clips, textbooks, and classroom materials form the immersive site-specific exhibition


installation view of ‘soaring through clouds, stumbling through fog’

installation view of ‘a selfless act’ series