Li Hongbo Carves Silhouette Sculptures From Butcher Knives
“Shadow of Knives“, an incredible series of carved silhouette sculptures created by Beijing-based artist Li Hongbo who intricate, precisely cut animals, humans, and skeletons rise from knives like shadows, leaving behind corresponding negative spaces in the blades. With the delicate appearance of the silhouettes belying the cold, hard metal from which they were carved, the sculptures contrast paper-thin fragility with razor-sharp toughness.
A description from Contemporary by Angela Li, the gallery hosting Shadow of Knives, describes the sculptures as a warning to society, saying, “Human beings will eventually destroy themselves because of their gluttony and their abuse of animals.” Deer, birds, a cheetah, and a human skeleton, among others, jut up from the metal blades, reminding the viewer of the creatures those knives were meant to cut, and the consequences for humanity. Despite the macabre message behind the art, the intricate carvings are an elegant foil to the harsh, brutal cutting tools.