Eli Klein Gallery is honored to be presenting “Li Hongbo: Empathizing” - the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, showing 10 new sculptures utilizing the mediums of stainless steel, cast iron, and rebar. The exhibition opens on Saturday May 22 and will run through August 28, 2021.
Li Hongbo has received universal acclaim for his “Tools of Study” and “Absorption” series, both of which were paper-based maneuverable sculptures. Li’s mastery in metal was first critically acknowledged when he won the Sovereign Art Prize in 2017. As an important continuity and progression of his exploration in metal, the exhibition brings a selection of sculptures within this extended oeuvre, showing Li’s sensitivity towards materials other than the use of paper. It invites the viewers to empathize with the contemporary living experiences which are illustrated by the sculpted figures. Such exploration of mediums has become a Li Hongbo speciality reflected in his works from the past two decades.
“Seasons of Flower - Rose,” the largest and perhaps the most romantic sculpture in this exhibition, demonstrates how we balance the need to exhibit and the self-discipline not to. Unlike the figures detained in a world of metal rebars in “Standard Space” sculptures, here the relaxed figure emerges to show only signs of positivity. However, Li Hongbo utilizes flowers as a metaphor that symbolizes our desire for attention which is, unfortunately, being constantly encouraged and rewarded. While we are so accustomed to the new tradition of showing off on all platforms, one must learn to deal with what is not displayed publicly.
Image: Li Hongbo, "Seasons of Flower - Rose," 2021. Stainless steel. 81 x 76 3/4 x 23 5/8 inches (206 x 195 x 60 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Eli Klein Gallery © Li Hongbo
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