PETALING JAYA: Malaysian artist Hong Yi celebrated the 60th birthday of Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan by creating a portrait of him with 64,000 chopsticks.
The 28-year-old Sabahan, who was trained as an architect and goes by the nickname Red, worked on the art piece throughout March and spent up to 12 hours a day tying chopsticks together for two weeks straight.
On Monday, she presented the complete work to Chan at his 60th birthday concert in Beijing.
In a time-lapse video of the creation process which was uploaded to her YouTube channel, Hong engages in a playful chopstick tussle with Chan over plates of food, with surprising results.
The scene is a homage to Chan’s use of the eating utensils in fight scenes in films such as Fearless Hyena and The Karate Kid.
Hong also used the disposable bamboo variety of chopsticks to illustrate how such materials can be reused to create something meaningful and beautiful.
“I spent a month collecting these bamboo chopsticks from cafes, stalls and factories in Zhejiang and Beijing, then tying each of them up,” she said in her YouTube video description.
Netizens have responded to the art installation with surprise and delight, with local Instagram user @spinzer commenting that Chan was lucky to have received Hong’s artistic tribute.
YouTube user Klancy Kennedy also remarked that the large-scale installation was perfect as “anything in big numbers is well loved” in China’s art scene.
“There’s so much performance art that uses thousands of people to make a picture. Teamwork is a big deal. 64,000 chopsticks is perfect as it doesn’t just fit Jackie Chan. It fits the culture where many small things in unison make something big and strong,” he commented.
Known as the artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush”, Hong’s use of unusual materials for her creations has caught the world’s attention many times over.
Among her works are a portrait of national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei using shuttlecocks and a likeness of Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made from 2,000 dyed carnations. Hong’s breakthrough project came in Jan 2012 when she used a basketball dipped in red paint to paint a portrait of former Chinese NBA star Yao Ming.