Hong Yi, also known by her nickname, โ€˜Redโ€™, is an artist known for creating pieces using everyday, unconventional materials. Red has been featured in publications including Wall Street Journal, TIME, Fast Company and Huffington Post. See how she transforms ordinary flower petals into incredible works of art.

Flower petals art is just the start

After graduating with Master in Architecture from the University of Melbourne, Red moved to Shanghai for a career in architecture. She fell in love with the cityโ€™s chaotic charm, once home to her father and grandparents. Inspired by her surroundings and the range of affordable materials available from wholesale markets, it was here Red completed her first unconventional work, a portrait of Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei made entirely out of sunflower seeds. A wave of innovative artworks ensued, including a portrait of Adele using 1500 melted tea lights, Aung San Suu Kyi with dyed carnations, a hanging structure of Jackie Chan using chopsticks. The use of materials in bulk in her project alludes to the globalization and mass production in China and Asia.

You might have seen Red’s work before. She received a lot of attention for a similar project involving food. Almost every day for 30 days, Yong Yi created a fun illustration made with common food (Discovered via Colossal).

Flamingo made from pink gerberas and twigs
Flamingo made from pink gerberas and twigs
Northern cardinal made of red gerberas and deep purple chrysanthemums with dill
Northern cardinal made of red gerberas and deep purple chrysanthemums with dill
Flower petals transformed into birds
Flower petals transformed into birds by artist Hong Yi
Kingfisher made of gerberas, butterfly peas and purple shamrocks
Kingfisher made of gerberas, butterfly peas and purple shamrocks
Hornbill made of chrysanthemums, germeras and purple shamrocks
Hornbill made of chrysanthemums, germeras and purple shamrocks
Parrot made from butterfly peas and gerberas
Parrot made from butterfly peas and gerberas
Rooster made of flower petals (gerberas and leaves)
Rooster made of gerberas and leaves
Peacock made of flower petals (butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, allamandas/trumpet flowers)
Peacock made of butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, allamandas/trumpet flowers
Peacock made of flower petals (butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, allamandas/trumpet flowers)
Peacock made of butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, allamandas/trumpet flowers