Red Hong Yi is a Malaysia-born artist and designer who creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials through the accumulation of objects. Her work has been featured all across the globe, including the April 26, 2021 TIME cover on climate change, where she lit her artwork made of 50,000 matchsticks on fire. Red Hong Yi invited Kenji Chai to TIMEPieces.
Title: Little Red Decides Her Better Future
A little pixelated girl with a pixelated mountain in the background looks excitedly into the future as she is given the option to begin her adventure with either FIAT MONEY or CRYPTO. This little girl is from Borneo, and the mountain in the background is Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Borneo. Lush forests surround the mountain, and the land is rich and healthy. The banknote in the centre reflects a changing perception of currencies and their role in our time. This banknote is issued by Memebank, a parody central bank that pokes fun at fiat currencies with crypto meme culture. Hidden in this banknote are “easter eggs” such as morse codes, a very pixelated “decentralised” text, and even smaller pixelated icons. I hope we will build a better future so that little girls will be empowered to choose their own adventures in a world that celebrates nature, technology, and the human race.
About the Artist
Red Hong Yi is an artist from Borneo, Malaysia. Known as the artist who ‘paints without a paintbrush’, she creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials through the accumulation of objects. By combining traditional craftsmanship and digital technology, she creates work that considers perceptual habits and preconceptions on the chosen objects and subjects, expressing the themes of women, heritage, race, and climate change. Among the materials she has used to create her work are eggshells, chopsticks, teabags, soil, salt, socks, matchsticks and most recently, copper plates and pixels. She currently leads a team of ten artists and designers at Studio Hong Yi in Kuala Lumpur. Her artworks have been presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Saatchi Gallery in London, Anchorage Museum in Alaska, and H Queens in Hong Kong.
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