Red is back. She has put away her basketball and grabbed a coffee cup to create her latest work of art, which features a portrait of singer Jay Chou, created entirely from the rings formed under a cup of hot coffee on an artist's canvas.
Hong Yi, the Malaysian artist known as Red, who gained international fame when a video showing her painting NBA basketball player Yao Ming went viral after being posted on YouTube, has returned and this time she is using the bottom of a coffee cop as a substitute for a paint brush.
The inspiration for her current project?
Singer Jay Chou and his hit song "Secret." She said, the opening line about lifting a coffee cup off a saucer and the ending of the song about autumn leaves and fragmented piece inspired her to create the Chou portrait.
According to the video description, "The song tells a heartbreaking tale about a girl who travelled forward 20 years in time and met Jay in 1999, and they fell in love. She then went back to 1979 and sketched out the portrait of him. My painting is meant to look like a sepia-toned old photograph to capture the essence of this story."
"The use of coffee as the main medium in my project is drawn as a literal reference to it," said Red about the creative painting which took twelve hours to complete.
She said on her website that working with coffee was a challenge. "Too much water and the rings wouldn't form easily, very little water and you'd have to be precise with where you place the cup because the rings would pretty much be permanent."
YouTube screen grab
Portrait of singer Jay Chou created by Red.
The artist said she is grateful for the attention she has received after her first video of the basketball painting went viral on the Internet. Other works of art created by Red include a portrait of Al Weiwei made from 100,000 sunflower seeds, and a portrait of Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber made from Korean chili paste. Her love of art will be be seen next in a much anticipated portrait of Bruno Mars using a completely new technique of painting, she said on her Facebook wall.
She said about her art and its popularity: "It's always been somewhat a dream for me to become an artist, ever since I was a wee little kid in my kindergarten days, so I can't believe all this is happening to me. I owe it to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."