Through each of our eyes we view the world differently because in many ways what we perceive are images that are reflected in our own consciousness. The charm of the physical object is not the most important; the key is how we intuit it. As time goes on I understand more about these feelings that occur within profound life experience: my desire, tension, happiness, pain, etc. I try to create work that will encapsulate these feelings; this is my quest as a sculptor. Working and living in both Beijing and New York I am constantly provoked and inspired by the striking cultural differences. China has a long history and rich culture, but there are many rules and shackles left; New York is more modern and energetic, with cultural freedom. I feel that I operate in-between the space of East and West, past and present. I believe that past traditions can coexist harmoniously with contemporary trends without compromising the charm of each.
Recently I have been making works made of porcelain and stainless steel, both of which stem from different periods of human civilization. Porcelain, after its high temperature firing, shines with human intelligence like a spirit while the cold and mirrored surface of the hand wrought stainless steel clearly reflects our present state of existence. Morphing and forming these two materials my work brings them together into a harmonious and dialogical relationship each complementing and adding depth to one another.
Li Hongwei is a contemporary artist. He currently works and lives in Beijing and New York. He was known by his early series “Weight of Meditation”; his recent work combined with porcelain and stainless steel has made him receive widespread attention and praise. His works have been collected by The British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Israel Museum, Harvard Art Museums and the Philadelphia Museum of Art among others. His works have been exhibited in the National Art Museum of China, the Louvre, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Fox Art Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Dublin Castle in Ireland amongst others. In 2013, he was awarded the Taylor Prize by the 2013 France International Salon.
He is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics (Geneva), the Chinese Sculpture Institute （Beijing） as well as the Taylor Foundation (established in 1844), Paris. In 2015, he was invited to lecture as a visiting artist at Harvard University. Hongwei holds a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing; a master’s in ceramic art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University at Alfred, NY.