Oct 22, 2014

Courage to share

It's been ages since I've blogged and though I'd hate to admit this, I stopped blogging because I started hiding. Yes, so I've continued creating art and sharing my work with others (they're on my Facebook and Instagram pages)...but there's a lot of thoughts about my work process and lessons I've learned that I know I should be jotting down. I started hiding because I was scared to share my thoughts. What if he/she starts judging me, because I'm putting forth my thoughts and opinions about a certain subject...?

I've decided to stop hiding and start blogging again to find my own voice. These posts will happen at least once a week, and they will be short, simple posts mainly about creativity, productivity, design, art in the digital age, experiments and more!

Over the years, I've learned that being an artist or a creator of any kind requires guts. You're essentially creating something and putting it out there for the world to analyse, judge, comment. And not everyone's going to like what you have created, so you have to be prepared to accept that. I'm thankful for the incredibly encouraging, supportive community that value my work, but occasionally I do get comments like, "My kid could paint better than her" or "That is not art". I need to be reminded that comments like these are missing the point. It's about having enough courage to share that piece of your heart and soul with the world.

Take courage, everyone!


Apr 9, 2014

Jackie Chan portrait with chopsticks!

Jackie's art director contacted me about three months ago to commission me to work on an art piece for Jackie Chan's 60th birthday. When I met Jackie a month later, he told me that he first saw my artwork, the portrait of Zhang Yimou made of socks hung on a bamboo pole, online. That piqued his interest and he thought I only do art made of socks! One day, he stumbled upon the video of my Jay Chou portrait, a portrait made with coffee cup rings, and he loved it, and found out that it was done by the same artist. That was when he told others about my work. Jackie is incredibly supportive of what I do. In person, he's warm and funny, kind of like a grown-up kid I guess! He also has a thing about making sure you finish every single bit of food on your plate! "I just got back from Africa and there are a lot of people who starve out there!" he told me once when I couldn't finish my bowl of fried rice. 

Work process and art:
It wasn't easy to choose the material for Jackie's piece. He is a world famous actor, an exceptional martial arts fighter, an environmentalist, and one of the most well-known faces internationally! I finally decided on chopsticks because Jackie had used them in some of the fighting scenes in his movies the Fearless Hyena and Karate Kid, and because chopsticks are Chinese. As he is also an environmentalist, I used disposable bamboo chopsticks to show that discarded materials can be reused and made into something meaningful and beautiful. This art installation is a tribute to the life, art and cultural significance of Jackie Chan.

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. 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. 

Presenting at Jackie's concert:
Jackie Chan held a concert in Beijing on the eve of his birthday, 6/4/2014. Entertainers and stars such as Jay Chou, Wang Lee Hom, Coco Lee, Kim Hee Sun, EXO, Lang Lang and many more performed and celebrated this event with him. I was incredibly honoured and thrilled to present my Jackie Chan portrait video and talk about my art and Jackie's portrait to this crowd of 10,000. It was surreal how all this started from that one video I uploaded two years ago on Youtube, the video of Yaoming's portrait painted with a basketball! I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come my way, for my family, friends and fans who have shown so much love and support, and for God's perfect timing and blessings. I want to create more art and share them with people around the world.

Jul 19, 2013

Birds made of flowers

northern cardinal made of red gerberas and deep purple chrysanthemums with dill
dodo made from white, pink and orange chrysanthemum flowers
flamingos made from pink gerberas and twigs
kingfisher made of gerberas, butterfly peas and purple shamrocks

peacock made from butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, alamandas / trumpet flowers
hornbill made of chrysanthemums, germeras and purple shamrocks
 eagle made of white, maroon and yellow chrysanthemums
rooster made from gerberas and leaves
 Flamingo x2 
parrot made from butterfly peas and gerberas
Behind the scenes - eagle piece 

Behind the scenes - cardinal piece 

After experimenting with food for the entire month of March, I thought I'd start on another month-long project, working on one specific material again. So for July, I chose flowers. I realised that flower petals - especially gerbera petals - look similar to feathers especially when they are arranged on top of one another, layer by layer. This is how I was inspired to start this series of making birds from flower petals.

I try to push the limits of my creativity by experimenting with a new material for my art every month, and I upload these mini art projects onto my Instagram account. Instagram has turned out to be a great platform for me to share my work - my experiments, work-in-progress and final product, and the community on Instagram inspires me to create. I'm so grateful I have you guys - my online fans/followers/friends-i-have-never-met - to encourage me along my art journey!

Apr 15, 2013


My last piece for my "31 Days of Creativity with Food" project!!! Thank you everyone from all over the world who have liked, shared, commented and followed my work... I feel so blessed! 

I started this project to push myself to be creative by working within the confines of a plate with just food bcos my artworks were getting too big n too complicated. This was supposed to be something fun and non-serious, and I had to force myself to do something each day even if my ideas tank was empty(happened a lot)! I hope this inspires u to see fun and joy in even ordinary things u come across. I will continue doing these food art projects but not on a daily basis...n i'll def continue doing 15 or 30 day art challenges with other materials. Stay tuned!! x 

Apr 13, 2013

Tropical fruit pufferfish!

Day 30: Tropical fruit pufferfish! This piece is made of 4 different fruits from Southeast Asia! Can you name them?
_Body: Durian - known as the “king of fruits”, it is strong smelling, has a spikey husk and creamy flesh. They say u either love or hate it. I love it!
_eye: longan, similar to lychees
_tail/fin: chiku, a super sweet fruit, texture like a well-ripened pear
_water: pomelo, looks like a giant grapefruit the size of a soccer ball!
(for more, follow @redhongyi on instagram or check out #creativemarch to see what my followers have done!)