After a month of collecting 64,000 pieces of chopsticks, Red Hong Yi started with one of her best work yet, a portrait of one of the famous faces of today, Jackie Chan. The project was commissioned to Red in celebration of Jackie Chan’s 60th birthday.
It wasn’t easy to choose the material for Jackie’s piece. He is a world famous actor, an exceptional martial arts fighter, an environmentalist, and one of the most well-known faces internationally! I finally decided on chopsticks because Jackie had used them in some of the fighting scenes in his movies the Fearless Hyena and Karate Kid, and because chopsticks are Chinese. As he is also an environmentalist, I used disposable bamboo chopsticks to show that discarded materials can be reused and made into something meaningful and beautiful. This art installation is a tribute to the life, art and cultural significance of Jackie Chan.
I spent a month collecting 64,000 chopsticks, in Zhejiang and in Beijing. I tied them into different bundle sizes with strings, and then hung them on a steel frame. This was a hanging piece that had to be suspended with steel cables, so I had to make sure that it was structurally stable enough to carry that many chopsticks. I also hung 60–for Jackie’s 60th birthday–cross-sections of bamboo filled with skewers and chopsticks that formed the word ‘long’ (dragon) because Jackie’s name in chinese means “Dragon”. The installation is best viewed from the front, where the portrait is most visible. From its side, waves of chopsticCs tied in bundles is seen.