Malaysian artist burns 50,000 matchsticks for TIME magazine cover

Clockwise from top left: Red Hong Yi, the burning artpiece, and Red putting together the matchsticks. Photos: Screenshots from TIME Magazine/YouTube
Clockwise from top left: Red Hong Yi, the burning artpiece, and Red putting together the matchsticks. Photos: Screenshots from TIME Magazine/YouTube

TIME Magazine is featuring a Malaysian artist’s fiery artwork for its latest cover, which goes to print today. 

Artist Red Hong Yi, 35, who hails from Sabah, had assembled 50,000 green-tipped matchsticks and then set it ablaze for the fortnightly news magazine’s “Climate Is Everything” edition. The matchsticks were painstakingly arranged to look like the world map and photographed by Kuala Lumpur photographer Annice Lyn. 

“Incredibly honoured to have created the artwork for @time’s special issue this month on climate change,” Red said on Instagram.

“As the Covid pandemic continues to assail the world, we are reminded more than ever that no country is unaffected by global crises, whether it is a pandemic or economic collapse or, as this special issue highlights, global warming and climate change,” she added. 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by red*hongyi 康怡 (@redhongyi)

 

The 7.5 x 10-foot art was pieced together by hand with the help of six assistants. 

“The entire process took the team 2 months of planning, 2 weeks to assemble the art piece and just 2 minutes to watch it all go up in flames,” photographer Lyn said yesterday.

Red’s other well-known works include the 2014 portrait of Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan that was made using 64,000 chopsticks.

Other stories to check out:

Miss Grand Malaysia unveils national costume inspired by ‘Mak Yong’ dance

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