Li Hongbo: Textbooks

January 7 – February 13, 2016


Press Release

Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce “Textbooks,” a solo exhibition of mixed media installations and sculptures by Beijing-based artist Li Hongbo, on view from January 7 through February 13, 2016.

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. 

Li Hongbo was born in Jilin, China, in 1974, and holds an MFA from the Experimental Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Currently on view at SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, is the solo exhibition “Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day,” which features 16,500 paper sculptures assembled in a site-specific installation (through January 24, 2016). He has also exhibited in notable group museum shows including “Forever Young,” Asia University Museum of Modern Art, Taichung, Taiwan (2015-2016); “CODA Paper Art,” CODA Museum, The Netherlands (2015); “Metaplasia – La China Ardente: Monumental Contemporary Sculptures,” Anciens Abattoirs, Mons, Belgium (2015); “FLOW_1: Italian and Chinese Contemporary Art in Dialogue,” Palladian Basilica, Vicenza, Italy (2015); “Experimental Art,” Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China (2014); and “Stacked & Folded Paper as Sculpture,” The Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI (2014).

For press inquiries, please contact Ysabelle Cheung at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at For all other inquiries, please contact Casey Burry at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at