What at first look like delicate works of carved porcelain are actually thousands of layers of soft white paper, carved into busts, skulls, and human forms by Beijing artist Li Hongbo. A book editor and designer, the artist became fascinated by traditional Chinese toys and festive decorations known as paper gourds made from glued layers of thin paper which can be stored flat but then opened to reveal a flower or other shape. He applied the same honeycomb-like paper structure to much larger human forms resulting in these highly flexible sculptures. Hongbo recently had a solo show at Dominik Mersch Gallery in Australia who made the videos above, and you can see much more of his work on their website.
In this brilliantly fun mockumentary from German filmmaker Till Nowak, a man named Dr. Nick Laslowicz from the Institue for Centrifugal Research (ICR) recounts his “achievements in the realms of brain manipulation, excessive G-Force and prenatal simulations,” stating unequivocally that “gravity is a mistake.” What follows is a series of increasingly terrifying and equally absurd roller coasters that fling passengers into the sky in an attempt to theoretically improve their cognitive function. Pulling no stops, the fictional ICR has a fully active Facebook page and website, though in reality the film has won numerous awards in screenings around the world in the last year. (via the creators project, swissmiss)
I’m really enjoying the color and form of these tiny bonsai trees sculpted from copper by artist Ken To. While certainly not a new artform (we’ve covered wire trees here previously), I find To’s work exceptional in its simplicity and focus on shape versus ornamentation which other artists in the same vein seem to rely on for visual embellishment. The trees are for sale, however because of recent coverage online it looks like he’s currently sold out on Ebay and Rondei. Stay tuned. (via ian brooks)
Using hundreds of second-hand shirts Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaikkonen creates site-specific installations suspended above roadways or inside large warehouse spaces. Her most recent work Are We Still Going On? (top images), was conceived at Collezione Maramotti, a private collection of contemporary art in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and involves hundreds of children’s shirts hung in rows to resemble the interior hull of a giant ship. The shirts are organized by color on each side of the skeletal boat to represent a sort of symbolic dialogue about gender. You can learn more over on Art Texts Pics and see a brief video of the piece here. (via global art news)
Paper artist Lisa Nilsson (previously) recently completed a number of new anatomical pieces using her profoundly incredible skill with quilling, a tedious process where paper is tightly wound into small rolls and then assembled into larger artworks. The natural formation of the paper coupled with Nilsson’s ability to identify the precise materials to mimic organic structures makes each artwork appear uncannily like actual cross-sections of humans and animals. The artist has a number of new works currently on display at the Boston Art Gallery as part of the exhibition Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy through March 31, 2013. Don’t miss it. Photography by John Polak.
Abstract rainbows of color fill the landscape in these beautiful photos by French photographer Normann Szkop (nsfw-ish) who hopped in a Cesna with pilot Claython Pender to soar above the tulip fields in Anna Paulowna, a town in North Holland. Collectively, the millions of neatly planted flowers create sprawling patterns and designs that tourists flock to witness with their own eyes every season. See the entire 100+ photograph set over on Flickr. (via twisted sifter)
Almost 30 years ago a Japanese custodian sat in front of a large A1 size sheet of white paper, whipped out a pen and started drawing the beginnings of diabolically complex maze, each twist and turn springing spontaneously from his brain onto the paper without aid of a computer. The hobby would consume him as he drew in his spare time until its completion nearly 7 years later when the final labyrinth was rolled up and almost forgotten. Twitter user @Kya7y was recently going through some of her father’s old things (he’s still a custodian at a public university) when she happened upon the maze and snapped a few photos to share on Twitter. She was quickly inundated by requests from friends and eventually strangers who had endless questions, the most obvious being: are you making prints!? I’m not sure if prints will be made (I’ll definitely let you know if I hear anything), but it still boggles the mind simply looking at these few snapshots. (via spoon and tamago)
Polish photographer Marcin Ryczek snapped this once-in-a-lifetime photograph of a man feeding swans and ducks from a snowy river bank in Krakow. The trifecta juxtaposition between black/white, water/snow, and person/animals is simply astounding. You can download a desktop sized version of the photo here, and check out more of Ryczek’s photos in his portfolio. (via stellar)