Best known for his kinetic paper sculptures that reinvent traditional Chinese folk craftsmanship, Li Hongbo presents four new series of works that comment on pedagogical systems as economic and social currencies across different cultures. Giant binder clips, textbooks, and classroom materials create a site-specific immersive exhibition. The installations in the “Absorption” series hint at the influence of education in society, debating historical distortion and propaganda woven into classroom lessons across America and China. After collecting secondhand high school, middle school, and primary school-level textbooks, Li assembled stacks of literature in his studio in Beijing, China. From these towers, he hand-carved the busts
and effigies of school children, leaving the edges raw and unfinished. Uncharacteristically silent and stationary when crafted as statues, these pupils sit on battered, old, school desks which also tell stories of past lessons and conversations. Li creates a ghostly narrative in which education and impressionable vessels – youths who will determine our future – are inseparable.
B.A. Fine Arts Depart. of Jilin Normal University, Jilin (CN) M.F.A. Folk Art Depart. of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CN) M.F.A. Experimental Art Depart. of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CN)