[Follow Friday] She likes to paint with anything but a paintbrush

Do you remember that clumsy potato print painting you did in kindergarten? How about dipping your bare hands in poster paint and then transferring it on to mahjong paper? Did you think it would change the world?

Because Hong Yi, better known as Red, is revolutionising art for us with the use of unconventional media in her creations – ironically, they are objects we hold dear and come into contact with from day to day.


Having obtained a Masters in Architecture in Australia, the young Malaysian worked for Australian architecture firm HASSEL in their Shanghai studio; but things took a turnaround when she quickly rose to fame from posting her awe-inspiring works online. Because Red (红), is Mandarin slang for “very popular” or “famous”, we secretly find her name very apt and even somewhat punny in that sense.

Her works include painting Yao Ming’s portrait with a basketball and Jay Chou’s out of coffee cup stains, where she adds a whole new dimension to capturing this generation’s most iconic superstars in all respects – from sports and the arts to government – on canvas.


Even in her themed projects and mealtime posts on her Instagram, she’s taking #foodporn to a whole new level.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 2.18.21 PM

Red has since left her full-time architect job in pursuit of her passion and set up her own design studio, with the undying support of her friends, family and a large worldwide fanbase (us included). That being said, we share her utmost excitement in seeing this work in progress come to fruition at the upcoming indie music and arts creative extravaganza Urbanscapes, which is taking place next weekend, 23-24 November in Selangor, Malaysia.


Cited by the artist herself as her “biggest project so far”, this massive 2 storey high “Plates Pavilion” made of 5500 plates – yes, all five thousand and five hundred of them – by her 3-piece team will fit right in at Malaysia’s largest and longest-running outdoor creative festival to date.

We’ll be looking out for her showpiece alongside many other phenomenal art installations on the ground at Urbanscapes. You can view the full lineup of musicians, designers and performers by clicking HERE, and upon realising you’re not missing The Big Weekend for the world, you may proceed to Ticketpro to purchase your way to seeing these artists and their art in the flesh.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 2.18.32 PM

Meanwhile, for some visual ecstasy and the unfolding of her biggest project yet, you can follow Red on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Google+, gee she’s everywhere!

Lastly, here’s a video about Red and her embarkation on the road less travelled on the conservative Asian terrain we’ve perhaps grown all too familiar with.