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.


  1. You are what Einstein describes as' Creativity' - "Intelligence Having Fun"!
    Not only are you artistic and creative, you are so intelligent and academically successful...and I love the fact that you are humble (it shows through your blog posts). Being a Sabahan myself,it's definitely encouraging and inspiring to know that this amazing talent is born and bred here. Congratulations Red, I wish you more success!!

  2. Amazingly stunning and meaningful!

  3. Very creative. Fantastic, really good job. 加油!!Perhaps someday I will think of something for you to do or make.

  4. Keep it up, nice work and impressive!

  5. You are one of a kind! So talented and amazing..

  6. honestly. that took way to much time that could have been used for better things then that.

  7. And here you are, just another of the many internet trolls, criticizing on a blog about making use of time better. Mt 7:1-5.

  8. Hi Yi!!!
    It's so good to see you here back on your blog!
    What a wonderful experience you've had!!! You're really a famous person now!!!
    I was just thinking when we nearly met each other in Florence, when you were there with your mum...what a pity!!! Now I could say: "Once I met the famous artist Hong Yi!!"!!
    Say HELLO to your mum from me!! Hope she's fine.
    And...go Yi go!!!! So happy for you!!

  9. WOW!!! How truly incredible, love this!! :) Michelle

  10. Indeed they are all God's perfect timing and blessings! Keep it up and shine for Him. Proud to be sabahan ,)

  11. Amazing piece of work. Your are an artist in your own right, unique and fresh in your style.

  12. Wow, love your work and I'm so jealous that you got to work with Jackie Chan! You're amazing!