Hong Yi, who goes by the nickname ‘Red’ (Hong, sounds like the word ‘red’ in Mandarin), also known as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush’, is a Master of Architecture graduate from the University of Melbourne, but that’s just one of the many reasons this Malaysian artist-architect is well known around the world today.
‘Red’ graduated from the University of Melbourne, at the Middle Kingdom, where her father and grandfather lived their entire lives, but moved to Malaysia, when she was born. She found herself drawn irresistibly to the country, its rich history, its culture and its people, which inspire her to express how much she felt for a place her grandparents once fled from, so, she began with a project of ‘painting’ portraits of iconic Chinese figures, using local everyday materials as her medium. One of her most famous piece of art is a tribute to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei by creating a portrait with 7kgs/100,000 sunflower seeds and her painting of Yao Ming with a basketball and Jay Chou using coffee.
She is currently working in the Shanghai office of HASSELL, an established Australian architecture firm. Her website is www.ohiseered.com/