Zhang Yimou Portrait Made of… Socks?

Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi is certainly not the most conventional of artists; while most virtuosos in the world of art construct their creations with paint or pencil or metal or marble, Yi (who prefers to be called “Red”) uses any everyday object she can get her talented little hands on, and does wonders with them. In the past, Red has assembled portraits of Taiwanese actor-singer Jay Chou out of coffee stains, of Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber using Korean chilli paste, and of Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, painted not with a paintbrush but – rather appropriately – with a basketball.

Her latest project is no less peculiar: it is a portrait of famed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (director of martial arts action flicks “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers”), made entirely out of bamboo sticks, pins and 750 pairs of socks. Why socks? “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,” explains Red. “I thought that was an incredibly beautiful sight. And the amazing thing is seeing something so traditional in a modern, bustling city like Shanghai.”

Below you can observe the development of Red’s design, which took three weeks to assemble before being displayed in an alleyway in Shanghai for all to see. You may also wish to visit her official blog and portfolio to see more of her amazing, award-winning works.

For comparison, here is a picture of a less socky Yimou:

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