KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - The "kampung girl" who became a YouTube sensation when she dabbed a basketball in red paint and did a caricature of Chinese cager Yao Ming on a large canvas is now in the United States to talk about her art.
Twenty-six-year-old Hong Yi, an architect by day and an artist by night, is one of the two Malaysian speakers at the three-day EG Conference in Monterey, California, which started yesterday.
The gathering of gifted people in the media, technology, entertainment and education fields features a mix of rising stars and iconoclastic talents.
The other Malaysian to speak at the event is Ren Ng, founder and chief executive officer of California-based start-up company Lytro that develops consumer light-field cameras.
The Sabah lass, nicknamed Red Hong, said in a recent interview here: "I am honoured to be one of the 60 speakers.
"I'm very excited but incredibly nervous because everyone there is super brilliant and I'm like this kampung girl who uploads videos."
After the Yao Ming caricature, she used coffee cup stains to produce an image of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou.
Her latest work is a portrait of famous Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who directed martial arts epics like House of Flying Daggers and Hero and who was also the Beijing Olympics art director.
The art work involved 750 pairs of socks and was inspired by laundry hung on bamboo poles in the old alleyways of Shanghai.
Hong has since been sought after by CNN, ABC, Gizmodo and media companies from across the globe.
"It's interesting. After the Yao Ming video, sports channels contacted me and after the coffee video, drinks companies contacted me.
"Many have asked me to exhibit my works. I'm really grateful because it's been somewhat of a dream to organise my own solo exhibition ... but, of course, only after I've done enough art pieces!"