Monday June 19, 2017
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Chinese artist Li Hongbo gets a paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun from his assistant as he sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 14, 2017. — Reuters picChinese artist Li Hongbo gets a paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun from his assistant as he sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 14, 2017. — Reuters picBEIJING, June 19 — Chinese artist Li Hongbo hopes his paper sculptures of weapons — from AK-47 assault rifles to bullets and pistols — will inspire people to think about peace.

“I produced this artwork (because) after all, there is still military competition, war and fear in this world,” Li said ahead of the opening of his latest exhibit.

In the Gallery


  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo gets a paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun from his assistant as he sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Assistants of Chinese artist Li Hongbo place paper sculptures in the shape of handguns for Li's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Paper sculptures in the shape of handguns and bullets are seen as a part of Chinese artist Li Hongbo's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ ahead of the exhibition at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo flattens a paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun as he sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • A paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun is placed as a part of Chinese artist Li Hongbo's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ ahead of the exhibition at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Paper sculptures in the shape of handguns and bullets are placed as a part of Chinese artist Li Hongbo's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ ahead of the exhibition at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo places paper sculptures in the shape of handguns as he sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo prepares a paper sculpture in the shape of a handgun as a part of his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistant carry paper sculptures in the shape of AK 47 assault rifles as they set up Li's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistant set up a paper sculpture in the shape of an AK 47 assault rifle for his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo flattens a paper sculpture in shape of MP5 submachine gun for his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo sets up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Paper sculptures in the shape of AK 47s, handguns and bullets are seen as a part of Chinese artist Li Hongbo's work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ ahead of the exhibition at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistant set up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistants set up his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 17, 2017. — Reuters pic

“I wonder if (my work) could make people... pursue a kind of true peace, a truly beautiful world for mankind without any disputes,” he said.

Ocean of Flowers, which opened at the Eight One Art Museum in Beijing yesterday, comprises nearly 2,000 brightly coloured paper sculptures that can be folded up into weapons.

“A weapon that is used to kill people becomes a toy, a flower. It is an extreme contrast,” said 56-year-old Wang Duanting.

Li, who grew up in a farming family, said he always loved the flexibility of paper, which was invented in ancient China.

Similar to the way traditional Chinese honeycomb paper lanterns are made, Li pastes narrow strips of paper together, which he then cuts and chisels to achieve a shape.

The paper objects can expand and contract like an accordion.

“It’s very creative and these bullets are a lot of fun. It looks like there’s elasticity in it,” said seven-year-old Hao Jiabei.

The Ocean of Flowers exhibit was first shown in Sydney in 2012. The Beijing edition, which runs to July 20, is the largest showcase of Li’s work in his native country. — Reuters

Chinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistant set up a paper sculpture in the shape of an AK 47 assault rifle for his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 13, 2017. — Reuters picChinese artist Li Hongbo and his assistant set up a paper sculpture in the shape of an AK 47 assault rifle for his work ‘Ocean of Flowers’ at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing June 13, 2017. — Reuters pic

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