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Red Hong Yi Artist of Hope in Federation Square Melbourne


Red Hong Yi is one of the most remarkable women on the planet. She is known as an artist who 'loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush'. Red Hong Yi was an esteemed guest of Fiesta Malaysia in Fed Square in 2014 and The World Loves Melbourne was excited to hear the story of Red Hong Yi and to experience her art on the huge screen. Red Yong Hi radically creates her art pieces, as well as portraits of famous people, with everyday items like a basketball, flowers, food and even with coffee stains... (Red Hong Yi visited in 2014 - apologies for the late review).


This is some of the most compelling artwork in the world... Pictured above is Aung San Kyi portrait made with 2000 white flowers and red dye!

The World Loves Melbourne was taken with the artwork of Red Hong Yi. Much of the art we encounter today is dark and nihilistic, possibly reflecting the times we live in. Red Hong Yi cuts through this as an artist of hope. Her portraits are beautiful and vibrant. The use of materials is genius. In her art Red Hong Yi distinguishes herself by honouring people and places and celebrating the good. This is positive art of the highest order.


Red Hong Yi told us her story. The hundreds if not thousands who gathered in Federation Square in Melbourne were captivated. From the Fiesta Malaysia website - "Hong Yi, who goes by the nickname ‘Red’, is a Malaysian artist-architect. She was given the nickname because her name, Hong, sounds like the word ‘red’ in Mandarin. Red’s grandparents and father left Shanghai, China in the ’60s during the start of the Cultural Revolution and moved to Malaysia where she was born and raised. Growing up, she heard stories about how life in China, but never imagined that one day she would find herself going to China to work.

After graduating from university in Australia, she took up an offer to work for Australian architecture firm HASSELL in their Shanghai office, and was completely taken with the city. The city’s contradicting charms and chaos inspired her to start creating art using local everyday materials as her medium."


Red Hong Yi is a remarkable artist who has gained huge global recognition. Says the Fiesta Malaysia website - "Known as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush’, her works have been featured by media around the world including Huffington PostWall Street Journal, ABC, CNN, NBC and the Daily Mail. Her works have been viewed by millions on both Youtube and Youku. She has worked with clients such as Hewlett Packard, Unilever, Nespresso, AT&T, BBDO, Mercedes Benz, Esquire and Astro, was invited as a presenter at the 6th and 7th EG Conference in Monterey, California, at TEDxkl 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, at the APEC Young Entrepreneur’s Summit 2013 in Beijing, and lectured in design universities Domus Academy and NABA in Milan. She was named Esquire Magazine’s ’12 Brilliant Malaysians’ of 2013 and given Perspective Global Hong Kong’s 2013 ’40 Under 40 Designers’ award."


"Red currently runs her own design studio and lives and works between Shanghai and Malaysia. She wants to continue to use mundane, ordinary and often overlooked objects to make beautiful art and through her art and the internet, connect people throughout the world."

Pictured above is a portrait of Singer-songwriter Yuna Zarai, created with musical notes!


You may have heard of Red Hong Yi through social media as the video of her recent artwork for Jackie Chan using chopsticks received more than one million hits in YouTube within a week! 




Check out this You Tube video of Red Hong Yi with Jackie Chan on the Chopsticks portrait that Jackie commissioned Red to put together...


Red Hong Yi's adaption of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai Katsushika with Mt Fuji in the background...



Here is Red Hong Yi's famous art depicting Turkey... She says Turkey is in her thoughts and prayers.

Red Hong Yi was warmly received by Melbourne and was inspirational as an artist, communicator and stunning individual. My favourite comment from Red was "Kuala Lumpur skyline is my nasi lemak!" Recently The World Loves Melbourne was invited by Matrade to a Malaysian Appreciation Dinner at the Marriott Hotel. The last year has been tough for Malaysia but trade with Australia has doubled over the last 5 years, and is set to double again over the next 3 years. Surely, along with this a beacon of positivity is Red Hong Yi, one of Malaysia's brightest "exports."