Through Art Taipei 2011, the longest-standing art fair in Asia organized by Taiwan Art Gallery Association since 1992, I spotted Li Hongjun, who attempts to convey the conversion space of existing objects such as the vacuity of life and death and the space-time distance of reality and illusion—the very same idea as Li claims seen from Gunther von Hagens’ plasticized human specimens on display.
Born in Shaanxi Province and currently living in Beijing, Li Hongjun attained his degrees in Folk Art and Experimental Art.
Preferred to be called a “handicraftsman” rather than an “artist”, Li expresses his respect for the mere creation of art and exploration of the conversion space theme through his sensitive treatment of the material with the traditional Chinese paper-cut derived process.
Why does Li Hongjun’s work appeal to me so? At first glance, the layers of cut paper resembled the print layers of 3D printing systems for rapid prototyping, which I am currently studying. Realizing that they’re layers of paper, I am even more intrigued. No matter how high-tech and virtual our world becomes, I cannot forego the tactility of materials, especially that of paper. That is one reason I am so drawn to the making of origami. His exploration of the transition between the real and the illusionary, the living and the deceased, and even the association he draws to von Hagens’ BodyWorlds of the once real and living bodies becoming plastinated specimens for display, is a theme that has long fascinated me with a more anatomical emphasis and has everything to do with the research project I wish to tackle currently.