Contemporary artist Red Hong Yi and bead artist Danielle Soong have been chosen to represent Malaysia in Disney’s 'Create 100', a worldwide campaign to celebrate 100 years of Disney storytelling.
They join the ranks of renowned global artists across art, fashion, music and beyond, such as music superstar Beyoncé, French fashion designer Christian Louboutin, Chinese virtuoso pianist Lang Lang, American fashion pioneer Tommy Hilfiger and celebrated Brazilian artist Vik Muniz.
These talents will be donating artworks, items and experiences inspired by their personal connection to stories and characters across Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and 20th Century to support Make-A-Wish, a non-profit organisation set up to fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
“I have always been touched by the magic of Disney movies and characters since I was a kid watching them with my grandfather,” says Red Hong Yi, who is known as “the artist who paints without a paintbrush”.
The Sabah-born artist, who is also a trained architect, creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials. She has exhibited works at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, H Queens in Hong Kong and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and also appeared in international publications, including the front cover of Time magazine.
“I wished that someday I would be an artist for Disney, and now it’s all come full circle. Through Create 100 and my love for art, I’m using unconventional materials and storytelling to create a piece of art inspired by Disney,” says Red Hong Yi.
“Everyone can create something new, so I hope all aspiring creators will continue to experiment and be courageous in putting their art out and telling their stories to the world," she adds.
Earlier this year, Red Hong Yi released her first book, How To Paint Without A Brush: The Art Of Red Hong Yi, with US-based publisher Abrams, sharing significant moments in her art career, in addition to some tips on how to make artwork using common household objects.
Fellow Sabahan artist Soong, who is based in Kota Kinabalu, creates flower-themed jewelry for her brand Tzu.
“Disney has been a huge part of my childhood, and even now, as the art piece I created is a tribute to my mum, who passed away from cancer in 2019. She was a big fan of Disney, so to have them work with Make-A-Wish for this campaign makes it all the more special to me,” says Soong.
The artworks by Red Hong Yi and Soong are expected to be revealed at the end of August.
In a statement, Luciano Manzo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish International, says: “Wishes are generated by the imagination of our wish children and that creative spark inspires their journey with us.”
“Create 100 showcases the power of creativity to bring hope. This inspirational initiative will help grant life-changing wishes for children around the world who are living with critical illnesses. We are so grateful to Disney and all the artists involved for their support.”
To kick off the campaign, Disney and Virgil Abloh Securities, a corporation established by the late American artist’s wife Shannon in 2022 to continue his legacy, unveiled a sculpture of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey from Disney’s Fantasia at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London.
The life-size piece, Structural Sorcerer — a Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Sculpture, was commissioned by Disney and designed by ALASKA ALASKA, and will remain on display at RCA over the summer.
International brands Adidas, Pandora and Coach will also be contributing one-of-a-kind pieces to the celebration.