Whether she’s constructing innovative birds made out of flower petals or building portraits with candles or dyed flowers, artist Hong Yi, aka Red is always up to something fantastic. For her most recent project, the artist wanted to use something meaningful to celebrate actor and martial arts master Jackie Chan’s 60th birthday this year. So, she chose chopsticks—a symbol of the Chinese culture—as the medium with which to create this masterful portrait.
For one month, Red collected disposable bamboo chopsticks from cafes, stalls, and factories in Zhejiang and Beijing, electing disposable materials as a way to show how things can always be reused and repurposed into something new and beautiful.
She meticulously tied batches of the 64,000 chopsticks together and strung them in rows to produce Jackie Chan’s likeness. From up close, the portrait is nothing more than a pixelated arrangement of dots. But, from afar, Chan’s smiling face emerges from the wooden sticks as another stunning example of Red’s innovative style.
“This piece was inspired by his chopsticks battle scene in the Fearless Hyena,” explains Red. “There are 60 bamboo holders with skewers in them that form the Chinese character ‘long’ (dragon) in different styles, because Jackie’s Chinese name is ‘Chen Long’. So honored to present it at his concert on 6/4/14. Happy 60th birthday, Jackie!”
Watch the video below to see a playful interaction between Red and Jackie Chan.
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