'We watched it burn down in 2 mins': Malaysian artist creates fiery artwork for Time's cover on climate change

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

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A thought-provoking art installation created by Malaysian contemporary artist Red Hong Yi has made the cover of the April 26 issue of Time magazine.

Red's artwork, which shows trees on a world map catching fire, hopes to spark discussion about global climate change and show an urgency to tackle the issue together.

"The idea came from wanting to highlight a world map, where everyone's involved, and if one place is affected, the whole place is affected," she told the magazine.

The elaborate piece features a 2.3m x 3m world map made up of 50,000 green-tipped matchsticks, which Red and a six-person team spent two weeks sticking matchsticks non-stop for eight hours a day.

"And then we watched the piece burn down in two minutes," she wrote in an Instagram post.

This is not the 35-year-old's first time creating art installations that highlight the issue of climate change.

Earlier this month, the artwork Kaleidoscope saw her using 24,000 pieces of used capsules and creating mirrored panels to bring awareness to the need to reuse and recycle items in Nespresso's 'Doing is Everything' campaign.

The Sabah-born artist is a trained architect and completed her studies in Australia, receiving her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Melbourne.

Her artwork has been exhibited worldwide in places such as H Queens in Hong Kong, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, World Economic Forum in Davos, Anchorage Museum in Alaska and JP Morgan Chase Bank.

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