Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi breaks into NFT world with Meme Banknotes

“Doge the Moon”, Red Hong Yi’s first NFT from her Meme Banknotes Series, has dropped on the Binance NFT Marketplace. Photography by Annice Lyn
“Doge the Moon”, Red Hong Yi’s first NFT from her Meme Banknotes Series, has dropped on the Binance NFT Marketplace. Photography by Annice Lyn

Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi is officially jumping on the non-fungible tokens bandwagon, or NFT, with a series of artworks that spoof on paper money. 

The 35-year-old contemporary artist, whose works have graced the walls of the World Economic Forum in Davos and American museums, minted the first of several works from her Meme Banknotes series on the Binance marketplace on June 27. 

Named Doge the Moon, the artwork inspired by the Chinese Yuan, is a nod to China as a pioneer in the use of paper money during the Song Dynasty and, now, cryptocurrency.  The price tag? 2.005 ETH or around US$4,400.

“One concern about fiat money is the continual printing of paper money, which economists warn will lead to inflation. This has led to a large community of everyday people seeking alternative investments,” said Red, who recently made headlines for burning 50,000 matches for a Time magazine cover. 

“This is what my project will be addressing. I will be designing Meme-inspired banknotes onto etched copper plates which will allow me to print as many banknotes as I want to,” she added. 

Malaysian artist burns 50,000 matchsticks for TIME magazine cover

Buyers will also receive the art in the form of physical banknotes as well as an accompanying copper plate etched out with the design. Other works from the Meme Banknotes series that are expected to be released over the next five months will include spoofs of the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Malaysian Ringgit and Japanese Yen. They will also be exhibited in Kuala Lumpur later this year.

“As an artist, I have always been intrigued by how traditional and digital art can be integrated to create timeless masterpieces – uncovering the intricate elements of traditional craftsmanship with digital finishing techniques,” she said. “NFTs may still be a novel concept to many, but I do believe in its potential to create a more transparent and efficient world.” 

Red is known for creating mixed media installations and has also been featured in established publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. 

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