Paint Without A Paintbrush by Hong Yi

Shanghai-based artist’s, Hong Yi, who goes by the name of “Red” (Previously here, here, here and here) describes herself as an artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush”. Check out some of her amazing artworks below :)

Ai Weiwei Portrait made of 100,000/7kgs of Sunflower Seeds

"Ai Weiwei portrait made of 100,000/7kgs of sunflower seeds on an old alleyway in Shanghai. Inspired by his installation, “Sunflower Seeds”, where 100 million handmade porcelain seeds were exhibited in the Tate Museum of London."

Yao Ming Portrait with a Basketball

"Here's a painting of NBA superstar Yao Ming I did, with some red paint and a basketball! I guess all those years of basketball training in high school did come in handy!"

Jay Chou Portrait with Coffee Cup Stains

"The project was inspired by the opening line in Jay Chou's song, 'Secret/不能说的秘密'. It is inspired by the opening sentence, about lifting up a coffee cup off the saucer, "冷咖啡离开了杯垫" and the ending of the song about autumn leaves and fragmented pieces, "飘落后才发现 这幸福的碎片, 要我怎么捡?". This is shown through the portrait as a whole - how it's formed by many individual rings, many of them broken and imperfect like fallen autumn leaves, forming Jay Chou's portrait. The story of the song is about a girl who travelled forward 20 years in time and met Jay in 1999, and they fell in love. She then went back to 1979 and sketched out the portrait of him. My painting is meant to look like a sepia-toned old photograph to capture the essence of this story."

Zhang Yimou Portrait made of 750 Pairs of Socks

Mark Zuckerberg "Facebook" Portrait

"I was in the States last month for the EG Conference ( and wanted to do a portrait of an iconic American...I decided on Mark Zuckerberg and I thought I'd use BOOKS for his portrait, to play around with the words, 'face book'! LOL. was that PUNNY or what?!"

"I used 36 Game of Thrones books because they were the thickest I could find. And by slicing off just the sides, the books can still be words were cut off, I made sure of that. I am also giving them away to friends, so each book that is given away is personalised and unique."

Aung San Suu Kyi Portrait with Flowers and Dye

"I've created a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi with 2000 white carnations and 5 kilos of red dye to create her portrait. I cannot think of a more inspiring person alive than Aung San Suu Kyi, nor a more moving love story."

"I've used flowers to represent her because...well, have you noticed she's ALWAYS seen with flowers in her hair? Apparently, her father, General Aung San, used to tie flowers to ASSK's hair when she was a child, before he was assassinated. That could be a way of remembering him, and to show her femininity under all that stress and chaos she went through. Red represents love, passion, sacrifice and blood. This is the first time I'm using live objects - flowers - for my, like humans, eventually die. This piece celebrates this little time we have here on earth called life."

Adele Portrait with 1500 Candles

"ADELE's song 'Set Fire to the Rain' inspired me to use candles and fire as my painting materials...but why?"

"To me, ADELE was probably singing about the pain of a lost relationship. Rain may be a metaphor for her tears she cried, and she is setting fire to it to burn and destroy her pain. I've used blue candles to represent tears, and by setting fire to them, they melt and flow into each other - "Watched it pour as I touched your face..." - and they form a portrait of ADELE."

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