Artist who ‘paints without a paintbrush’ | Daily News


Artist who ‘paints without a paintbrush’

Red Hong Yi
Red Hong Yi

In 2012, Red Hong Yi uploaded a YouTube video, as a joke. In the video, she’s shown painting the face of former NBA star Yao Ming using a basketball instead of a brush.

She wasn’t expecting the video to impress anybody. She was then a full-time architect, and the video was just a fun project to share with her friends and family. But hours after she uploaded it, the video went viral. Viewers from all over the world watched it and shared with it with their friends, and Hong Yi became an overnight sensation.

The success of that first video inspired her to experiment with other materials and create other portraits using unconventional materials. So far she’s “painted” Jackie Chan with chopsticks, Adele with candles, Mark Zuckerberg with books and Taiwanese singer Jay Chou with coffee mug stains.

Her unique style and approach have turned her into a social media star. Her YouTube channel has almost 50k subscribers and she has almost 200k followers on Instagram. She’s so successful that she quit her day job to focus on her art. Her work has been featured in big publications such as The New York Times, she’s created art for companies such as Google and Gucci, and has been exhibited in some of the world’s biggest museums, such as the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Today, Hong Yi is still creating using unconventional items, making the world around her just a tad more magical.

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