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M'sian Artist Sets Artwork Ablaze For Cover Of TIME Magazine Special Issue

Together with a team, Red Hong Yi created a world map out of 50,000 matchsticks for the issue on climate change.

Cover image via @davidyeowphotography (Instagram) & Red Hong Yi (Facebook)

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Malaysian contemporary artist Red Hong Yi has created a stunning masterpiece for the cover of the latest issue of TIME magazine

Known as 'the artist who paints without a paintbrush', Red was commissioned by the internationally-renowned magazine to create a piece for its 26 April special issue on climate change.

TIME needed someone to illustrate the dramatic effects of climate change on our world. And they couldn't have placed the task in better hands.

The Sabah-born artist-cum-architect spent two weeks with her team creating an image that was part installation, part performance art

Red, who has made a name for herself internationally for creating art with everyday objects, this time created a 2.3m x 3m world map out of 50,000 matchsticks and set it ablaze.

"The motivation behind it came from the urgency of having to tackle (climate change) together," explained Red in a TIME interview.

"The idea came from wanting to highlight a world map, where everyone's involved, and if one place is affected, the whole place is affected."

Red later revealed that the whole production was carried out by herself and a team of Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur

In a Facebook post, Red proudly announced that everything, from the setup to the videoshoot, took place in an old warehouse at KongsiKL with the help of 14 other Malaysian creatives.

"My team and I spent two weeks sticking matchsticks non-stop for eight hours a day, and then we watched the piece burn down in two minutes," she said.

According to TIME, they first had to design the dimensions of the world map on a computer, before using a laser to meticulously cut out holes to position the matchsticks on the board.

They then sprayed layers of fire retardant paint on the front and back of the board, and set the green matchsticks — a metaphor for trees — on fire.

Image via Annice Lyn/TIME

The artist concluded that she was grateful for the opportunity and honour of creating a cover for the international magazine

"Incredibly honoured to have created the artwork for TIME's special issue this month on climate change. A huge thanks to the TIME team for having us!" Red wrote on Instagram.

She added that the print magazine will be on sale on newsstands worldwide starting Friday, 16 April.

Check out the video of Red's artwork here:

Here are more of Red's incredible and unconventional art: