Malaysian Artist’s Artwork Featured On Cover Of Time Magazine
Some talented Malaysians are really making our country proud lately. Following Malaysian writer Ling Low’s success in being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, is local contemporary artist Red Hong Yi’s accomplishment in having her artwork grace the cover of Time magazine!
The stunning artwork depicts a world map lighting up in flames, a brilliant reference to climate change and global warming.
Climate Is Everything: How the pandemic can lead us to a better, greener world https://t.co/AhHEIkksj6 pic.twitter.com/uZuhljx6Jl — TIME (@TIME) April 15, 2021
And the process behind the creation of this seemingly simple yet genius artwork was just as interesting as the final product. The artwork features a 2.3m x 3m world map brought into topographic focus by 50,000 green-tipped matchsticks, which serve as a metaphor for trees.
Red’s art piece was a collective effort thanks to help from her team. Together, it took the six-person team two weeks to complete the artwork, spending eight hours each day just sticking matchsticks into a board non-stop.
Eventually, they lit the piece on fire and watched it burn down in two minutes. The scene was then captured by Ms Annice Lyn, co-founder of Women Photographers Malaysia.
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“The motivation behind it came from the urgency of having to tackle (climate change) together,” said Red in a recent Time interview. “The idea came from wanting to highlight a world map, where everyone’s involved, and if one place is affected, the whole place is affected.”
This is not the first time the Sabah-born artist has made a statement with her art. While she was in Kota Kinabalu during the MCO lockdown last year, Red tackled racism with portraits made from food items.
A former architect who received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Melbourne, Red’s career as an artist has received worldwide recognition, having already had her work displayed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, World Economic Forum in Davos, and JP Morgan Chase Bank throughout the years.