Watch how artist & architect Red Hongyi made a portrait of Jay Chou out of coffee cup stains.

“What inspired me?
The project was inspired by the opening line in Jay Chou’s song, ‘Secret/不能说的秘密’. It is inspired by the opening sentence, about lifting up a coffee cup off the saucer, “冷咖啡离开了杯垫” and the ending of the song about autumn leaves and fragmented pieces, “飘落后才发现 这幸福的碎片, 要我怎么捡?”. This is shown through the portrait as a whole – how it’s formed by many individual rings, many of them broken and imperfect like fallen autumn leaves, forming Jay Chou’s portrait. The story of the song is about a girl who travelled forward 20 years in time and met Jay in 1999, and they fell in love. She then went back to 1979 and sketched out the portrait of him. My painting is meant to look like a sepia-toned old photograph to capture the essence of this story.”
– Red Hong Yi.

Learn more about her other artworks by watching her TED talk at TEDxKL 2013: “So, I threw away my paintbrushes”.

“So, what did these art pieces teach me? These little mini art pieces. It taught me that I shouldn’t over think and over analyse things. That sometimes I should push myself out and do it, even I am not totally happy or satisfied with my ideas. That done is better than perfect. And the other thing I learnt is that, small and simple ideas can be as effective and interesting as big complex ones.

If I hadn’t dribbled that basketball and paint 18 months ago, I wouldn’t have discovered that I am able to create art out of everyday material such as stamping coffee cup rings or rearranging petals.
And instead of limitating my artistic expression, it actually liberated me into discovering and exploring every day ordinary materials, and textures, and objects around me and present them in exciting and surprising ways.

We live in a world that is full of endless possibilities if we dare to look at it with fresh new eyes. We should also not over think things but push ourselves out there, into doing rather than just dreaming.

I just didn’t throw away my paintbrushes, I threw away my fear of being criticised, my shyness and my doubts about my capabilities.

What are your paintbrushes? Maybe you should try throwing them away too.
Thank you.”

– Red Hong Yi

More about Red Hong Yi: