Malaysian Artist ‘Red’ Hong Yi Creates Jackie Chan Portrait Using Thousands Chopsticks
Hong Yi, also known by her nickname, ‘Red’, is an artist known for creating pieces using everyday, unconventional materials. After graduating with Master in Architecture from the University of Melbourne, Red moved to Shanghai for a career in architecture. She fell in love with the city’s chaotic charm, once home to her father and grandparents. Inspired by her surroundings and the range of affordable materials available from wholesale markets, it was here Red completed her first unconventional work, a portrait of Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei made entirely out of sunflower seeds.
“I spent a month collecting 64,000 chopsticks, in Zhejiang and in Beijing. I tied them into different bundle sizes with strings, and then hung them on a steel frame. This was a hanging piece that had to be suspended with steel cables, so I had to make sure that it was structurally stable enough to carry that many chopsticks.” says Hong Yi.
“I also hung 60–for Jackie’s 60th birthday–bamboo chopstick holders filled with skewers that formed the word ‘long’ (dragon) because Jackie’s name in chinese means “Dragon”. The installation is best viewed from the front, where the portrait is most visible. From its side, waves of chopsticks tied in bundles is seen.”