Hong Yi, who often goes by Red, is a Shanghai-based artist who works with materials more often found in a dirty apartment than an art studio.
We are big fans of her portrait made of coffee stains, but were particularly taken by her new material of choice: socks. If you thought sock-based creativity was limited to hand puppets, think again.
Red was inspired to work with socks when she wandered down an alleyway and saw laundry hanging out to dry on bamboo sticks. This simple setup stood out against Shanghai's busy cosmopolitan surroundings, and made her consider the surprising beauty of that moment in her portrait of Zhang Yimou, a Chinese film producer and star. Red chose Zhang, she told Huffington Post Arts in an e-mail, "because many of his movies reflect the beauty of the Chinese culture, through the use of bamboos and traditional costumes."
A grand total of 750 pairs of socks were used to make the portrait. The community gathered around Red's project and helped pin the sock installation in place, making it a great example of what can happen when people of all ages get together to do something positive. We think the mix of, ahem, tight-knit traditions and unlikely materials make this sculpture more than just a kitschy experiment.
Do you think Red pulled off the sock portrait? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.