Social links

facebook       twitter       instagram       youtube

About Red Hong Yi


Red Hong Yi is a Malaysian artist and architect who is known for creating portraits of iconic people using unconventional materials. She will paint with anything, just as long as it’s not a paintbrush.

After graduating with a degree in architecture from university in Australia, Red took a job working from the Shanghai office of architecture firm HASSELL. She fell in love with the city’s chaotic charm, once home to her father and grandparents. Inspired by her surroundings and the range of affordable materials available from wholesale markets, it was here Red completed her first unconventional work, a portrait of Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei made entirely out of sunflower seeds. Red decided to film the making of her next work, a large scale portrait of basketballer Yao Ming using a basketball rolled in red paint, which subsequently went viral. A wave of innovative artworks ensued, including a portrait of Adele using 1500 melted tea lights, a hanging structure of Jackie Chan using only chopsticks and many more.

Red has featured in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, ABC, NBC, CBC, CNN, ESPN, Daily Mail, Design Boom and many others. Currently based in Shanghai, she divides her time between creating new works, speaking at conferences and universities around the world, various commercial projects and managing Studio Hong Yi, which she founded in January 2013.

She is constantly inspired by the nuances of the human experience, and hopes her work will continue to allow her to connect with and learn from different people and cultures.

Lectures & Conferences
  • 2012 Speaker at 6th EG Conference, California, USA
  • 2012 Speaker at Creative Asia Conference, Hong Kong, China
  • 2012 Lecturer at Domus Academy, Milan, Italy
  • 2012 Workshop tutor at Nuovo Accedemia Di Belle Arti (NABA), Milan, Italy
  • 2013 Speaker at 7th EG Conference, California, USA
  • 2013 Speaker at APEC Young Entrepreneur’s Summit, Beijing, China
  • 2013 Lecturer at China Academy of Art, Shanghai, China
  • 2013 Speaker at Kuala Lumpur Design Forum (Archidex), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2013 Speaker at TEDxkl, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2014 Speaker at Fiesta Malaysia, Melbourne
  • 2014 Speaker at Equip World Vision, Melbourne
  • 2015 Presenter at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

Red has spoken on the topics of creativity and innovation in conferences and universities internationally. She is exclusively represented by the London Speaker Bureau. For enquiries, please contact

Awards & Grants
  • 2003 Malaysian National finalist, Sabah State Fine Art Competition
  • 2009 Australian National Finalist, SONA Superstudio 24 Hour Architecture Competition
  • 2010 Australian National Finalist and Highly Commended prize, SONA Superstudio 24 Hour Architecture Competition
  • 2010 Elenberg Fraser Prize for Best Presentation, SONA
  • 2010 Melbourne Abroad Scholarship, exchange at Delft University of Technology
  • 2011 Special Mention award, Architecture Australia Unbuilt Competition
  • 2013 Esquire Magazine ‘Brilliant Malaysian Creator’ award
  • 2013 Perspective Global Hong Kong ’40 Under 40′ designers award
Selected Clients & Commissions