Makeup Masterpieces by Red Hong Yi

Curators’ Corner

Makeup Masterpieces by Red Hong Yi


Makeup is about more than just a lick of mascara and a smudge of lipstick. ‘Red’ Hong Yi knows this all too well. Her series, Make-Up Meets Chinese Art, uses a slightly different type of canvas than these products are intended for.


The Malaysian artist uses foundation, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, nail polish and more to create artistic masterpieces that mirror traditional Chinese art. In each art piece, Yi applies a specific product to her canvas and then incorporates the applicator into the picture, like sketching a crane with mascara and using the fiber wands as reeds. Her series includes 15 illustrations, one created for each day for all 15 days of the 2014 Chinese New Year celebrations.

“Chinese art requires a lot of precision and skill – one stroke can make a huge difference, and many times, less is more. I felt that this is similar to how a woman carefully puts on her make-up,” Yi wrote in the description of the series.