We are very pleased to announce that beginning in February 2014, Feel Desain will introduce a new interview section called 8 Questions With. This section will feature personalities from around the world who are, in one way or another, tied to the design/creative community. We will share with you their answers to randomly asked questions that will provide insight on their professional and personal life. Stay tuned and feel free to share your suggestions on who you would like to learn more about. We’ll try to interview them for you.
Hong Yi, who goes by the nickname ‘Red’, is a Malaysian artist-architect. Known as the artist who ‘loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush’, her works have been featured by media around the world including Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC, CNN, NBC and the Daily Mail, and now Feeldesain.
1. What is your most creative moment of the day ?
I’m very much a nocturnal person and my mind gets clearer throughout the day. I find I get sudden bouts of inspiration usually around midnight when I’m done with the day and it’s all quiet. That can be bad too because sometimes I end up sleeping when the sun comes up! I’m trying to work more in the mornings these days.
2. What type of books/magazines are on your bedside table?
I like reading memoirs, business and other non-fiction books. Oh, and books about China (history, politics…) intrigue me too. I like being able to relate to what people have gone through in real life and apply all these lessons I’ve learned into my own. Currently on my table: “Factory Girls” by Leslia T. Chang (which I highly recommend) and I just started reading “I am Malala” by Malala Yousufzai.
3. Is there a recipe for being creative ?
Curiosity and guts! I think we should never stop learning, exploring, investigating, and that we should not be afraid to just do it and make mistakes. It’s only through that that we discover our skills and talents more.
4. Do you think there is a city that offers more inspiration than others?
For now, I’m loving Shanghai…and Chinese cities in general. It’s messy, dirty, disorganised, fast-paced, chaotic and a real land of contrasts. Every time I set foot on the streets something’s bound to shock me… it could be the way the locals dress to grocery stores (in pyjamas) or a glassy skyscraper that just popped up out of nowhere (I’m exaggerating – but buildings do get constructed really fast there!). Places like these inspire me to experiment and do things differently.
5. How do you classify your art?
Experimentational. Fun. Research-based. I like using materials that relate to the subject’s culture or background too…so I usually do a lot of research on the subject I’m ‘painting’.
6. How important has your education been in your career development?
Very. I studied architecture and throughout those years I learned a lot about materials, textures, structures, designing 3D spaces, computer-aided designs, contextual studies… a lot of these have helped me in the art installations that I build now. I think both like a designer and artist. I believe my art would have been very different without my architectural training.
7. What has been your favorite project to date?
That’s like choosing my favourite kid! I have no kids but I’m guessing it’s kind of similar! I really enjoyed my food art series though that was more an experiment than a ‘serious’ or ‘real’ project – ‘Creativity with Food‘ series has helped me push the limits of my creativity, and has taught me to work within the confines of a very small area – my previous works range from 1×2 to 3x4meters. I’ve learned to slice, dice, stir, boil…who would have thought I’d need that to do art!
8. Goals for the next 12 months?
I’ll be focusing on my personal project of traveling to various cities around the world where I’ll create a public installation that reflects a cultural aspect of the city. I’m aiming to create at least one piece a month, and will document it online via platforms like Youtube. Currently on my list is Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia); Beijing, Shanghai, Tibet (China); Uluru (Australia); New York and probably some European cities! I hope to organise an exhibition by the end of this to display all these art pieces.
SEND YOUR SPECIAL HELLO MESSAGE TO FEELDESAIN
You guys were the first magazine to feature my artwork online! Thank you for all the features; I always enjoy reading your website and I wish the team behind Feel Desain a year of joy, adventure and creativity!