After the sunflower seeds portrait, and yao ming portrait with a basketball and Jay Chou Portrait with coffee cup stains , Hong Yi ( Red ) is Back with a new Project ” Zhang Yimou Portrait made of socks, bamboo sticks and pins ”
– Red : What inspired me?
When I first moved to Shanghai, I stumbled upon an old residential alleyway and saw bamboo sticks poking out of windows with laundry hanging onto them, waving in the air.
To me, that was incredibly beautiful. And the amazing thing is seeing something so traditional in a modern, pumping city like Shanghai. When I told locals how I was fascinated by these, they said, ‘You crazy! This is so ugly!’ Haha.
Zhang Yimou is a famous Chinese film director, who directed the movies Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Memoirs of a Geisha, and also was the art director for the Beijing Olympics. Many of his movies reflect the beauty of the Chinese culture, through the use of bamboos and traditional costumes. I thought Zhang Yimou’s portrait done in a Shanghainese laneway, with bamboo and laundry would be perfect for this project.
I ended up using 750 pairs of socks because shirts were too big and expensive, plus I found an interesting way to pin the socks together, creating a diamond-shaped piece of skin. It was interesting to see the different angles of shadows casted on it throughout the day.
Also, notice the quirks of the local Chinese living in that area! Many of them were really curious and came to help. And notice the little gym equipment installed there! Life is super interesting in these Shanghainese alleyways!