SHAH ALAM (THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Contemporary Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi has created a stunning installation that featured on the cover of the April 26 issue of Time magazine.
For this nifty commission, Red Hong Yi (known as Red) practically turned into a heated conversation about global climate change. The artwork presents a 2.3 mx 3 m world map topographically focused by 50,000 green-tipped matches.
For this elaborate cover of Time magazine, Red’s final piece – with the help of a team of six – served as both installation and performance art. The photoshoot included the artwork being set on fire. The cover image was photographed by Ms. Annice Lyn, co-founder of Women Photographers Malaysia.
âMy team and I spent two weeks sticking matches non-stop for eight hours a day, then watched the room burn in two minutes,â Red said in an Instagram post.
The dimensions and positions of matches were first designed on a computer. Red then laser cut the holes on a board and began inserting each match by hand. The green matches served as a metaphor for the trees.
Coats of fire retardant paint were also sprayed on the front and back of the “world map” painting to control the flames, while a fire engine was on site.
âThe motivation behind this came from the urgency of having to tackle (climate change) together,â Red said in a recent interview with Time. “The idea came from wanting to highlight a map of the world, where everyone is involved, and if one place is affected, the whole place is affected.”
She adds: âAs the Covid pandemic continues to beset the world, we are reminded more than ever that no country is spared by global crises, whether it is a pandemic or a economic collapse or, as this special issue highlights, global warming and climate change. . “
Last year, Red tackled racism with portraits made from food items while in lockdown in Kota Kinabalu. She spoke out against a wave of anti-Asian sentiments and racist attacks resulting from ignorance of the coronavirus with a series called I Am Not A Virus.
The Sabah-born artist began his career as an architect and received his Masters in Architecture from the University of Melbourne.
Over the years, his work has been exhibited at the H Queens in Hong Kong, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Anchorage Museum in Alaska, and the JP Morgan Chase Bank.