Hong “Red” Yi is an artist who “likes to paint, but without a paintbrush.” Her knack for making portraits with unusual materials has already resulted in a sunflower seed portrait of artist Ai Weiwei, as well as a portrait painted with a basketball of basketball star Yao Ming. Now, the Shanghai-based artist has done – what I think is – her best work yet – a painting of the Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou. To make her marks, she has chosen to use coffee cup stains.
Inspired by the lyrics of Chou’s song “Secret/不能说的秘密” where the first line creates the imagery of the singer lifting a coffee cup of its saucer and telling a love story, Yi takes a coffee cup which was dipped in coffee and creates rings of coffee on a sheet of paper. Slowly building up layers of texture and depth with the rich sepia color that only coffee can produce, the artist took 12 hours to come up with this extraordinary portrait of Chou. Make sure you play the video (at the bottom of the post) to see Yi at work.